The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #26 -  Noelle Tarr

Noelle Tarr is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) and an NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer. In addition to managing the health and fitness blog coconutsandkettlebells.com, she is the host of the top-ranked health podcast, Well-Fed Women. She’s also the creator of Strong From Home, an online home fitness program, and runs her own online wellness practice specializing in an individualized approach to health and fitness. She lives in Northern Virginia, with her husband, two young children, and two boxer dogs.
LEARN MORE AT:

coconutsandkettleballs.com

Coconuts and Kettlebells: A Personalized 4-Week Food and Fitness Plan for Long-Term Health, Happiness, and Freedom

SHOWNOTES


02:30 - LISTEN ON HIMALAYA!: Download The Free Himalaya App (Www.himalaya.fm) To FINALLY Keep All Your Podcasts In One Place, Follow Your Favorites, Make Playlists, Leave Comments, And More! Follow The Melanie Avalon Podcast In Himalaya For Early Access 24 Hours In Advance! You Can Also Join Melanie's Exclusive Community For Exclusive Monthly Content, Episode Discussion, And Guest Requests! 

02:40 - BUTCHER BOX:  Grass-Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Heritage Pork, And More, All Raised Sustainably The Way Nature Intended! Butcher Box Provides Access To Nutrient Rich, Affordable Meat And Seafood Shipped Straight To Your Door! Go To Butcherbox.com/Melanieavalon And Use The Code Melanieavalon For $20 Off Your Order, And Free 3 LBs Of Chicken Wings For Life!!

04:20 - DRY FARM WINES: Low Sugar, Low Alcohol, Toxin-Free, Mold- Free, Pesticide-Free , Hang-over Free Natural Wine! Use The Link DryFarmWines.com/melanieavalon To Get A Bottle For A Penny!

07:55 - About Noelle 

Why I Don’t Want Six-Pack Abs

Coconuts And Kettlebells 

12:00 - Personal Dietary Approaches, Individuality, Food And Body Image Morality

14:45 - Remembering Past Weights: The Certainty Of The Past

16:30 - Melanie's Personal Diet And Health History 

22:30 - Being Open To Change 

The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #23 - Dr. Amy Johnson

25:30 - On Acceptance And Letting Go Of Control

28:30 - Burn Out

31:00 - Running Your Business, Family, And Life

34:30 -  The Passion For Work

36:00 - Struggling With Health Issues In The Public Health Sphere 

37:00 - Social Media

38:45 - The Problem With Information Overconsumption 

40:35 - BEAUTY COUNTER: Non-Toxic Beauty Products Tested For Heavy Metals, Which Support Skin Health And Look Amazing! ​Shop At Beautycounter.com/MelanieAvalon For Something Magical! For Exclusive Offers And Discounts, And More On The Science Of Skincare, Get On Melanie's Private Beauty Counter Email List At MelanieAvalon.com/CleanBeauty

41:40 - Setting Boundaries 

46:00 - The Role Of Social Media In Society 

50:00 - The Things We Carry 

58:40 - How Our Mind Affects Our Body Physically 

1:00:00 - Jacqelin - How Do You Share Your Life As A Sensitive Person Or Introvert? 

1:05:00 - When Things Don't Go As Planned 

1:06:45-  Asking For Help

1:08:40 - The Perception Of Stress 

1:09:45 - The Secret To Longevity 

Voxer

1:11:15- The Top 3 Things For Health That Have Changed Our Life

The Roots Of Consciousness: We're Of 2 Minds

One Head, Two Brains

1:24:10 -Paleo OMAD Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life: Join Melanie's Facebook Group To Discuss And Learn About All Things Biohacking! All Conversations Welcome!

TRANSCRIPT

Noelle Tarr:
So, hi Melanie.

Melanie Avalon:
Hi Noelle.

Noelle Tarr:
Is this not the coolest thing ever? So for all of you who don't know, I am Noelle Tarr. I am the host of Well-Fed Women, and I'm here with Melanie who is also a host of her own podcast, and we are doing a mashup. So this is that really awkward stage where we're both like trying to host our podcasts but then we realize we're with other hosts. We're just sort of like, "Wait, what do we do with our hands? What? What's going on? What do we do with our voices?"

Noelle Tarr:
So I'm really excited. I'm excited to have you here. Why don't you maybe just introduce yourself just a little bit. I'll introduce myself just a little bit since most of our audiences know who we are and then we can jump into what we're going to discuss today.

Melanie Avalon:
That is a perfect idea. Yes, for listeners, Noelle and I have been trying to figure out how to do this for quite a while. We're like, "Who's going to talk? What do we say?" And so we're just going to go with the moment.

Melanie Avalon:
So hi, I am Melanie Avalon. I am the cohost of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast, which is not where this will be airing, but I'm the cohost of that podcast and then I am the host of the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast, which is where this will be airing. So I'm really in the whole health biohacking sphere. I wrote a book called What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine.

Melanie Avalon:
When I say paleo, I'm all into finding the diet that works for the individual. I don't think there's one right diet for everybody. I'm all into finding the intermittent fasting pattern that works for you, which is a little bit ironic given the history of ... We could talk about that later, we have so much to unpack. I'm just going to move on.

Melanie Avalon:
And then enjoying a fine glass of wine, but basically biohacking health things. Everything I do has really come out of honestly just my own journey to find what works for me and realizing that health is so much more than a blood test or what a doctor says about you and that we're all searching for what makes us feel amazing and healthy and good in our bodies. And there's not one diet for everybody. There's not one protocol for everybody.

Melanie Avalon:
And then on top of that, I think mindset is really, really what it comes down to in the end. And I am obsessed with Noelle and she's like a wonderful human being.

Noelle Tarr:
So kind.

Melanie Avalon:
And the last little thing for our listeners, I've been dying to bring Noelle onto the podcast. She is the cohost of the Wealth Ed Women podcast, originally the Paleo Women podcast, right? 

Noelle Tarr:
Yes, yes.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, which I've listened to since day one. And listeners ... So now I'm talking to my audience. I feel like I have to switch back and forth. I'm like Noelle's audience, my audience.

Noelle Tarr:
All of our listeners, yeah.

Melanie Avalon:
So you guys know I listened to a lot of podcasts, there is only one podcast that I've listened to every single episode besides my own, and that is Noelle's. So Noelle, would you like to tell listeners a little bit about you?

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah, you're very kind and I'm so thankful that you reached out to me and we were able to connect and be able to form a friendship. Yeah, I started a podcast with my cohost, Stefani Ruper, five years ago. It was called the Paleo Women podcast. It was really the first big thing I did in terms of like my brand and my business starting to help people on a grander scale.

Noelle Tarr:
So we started a blog, it's called Coconuts & Kettlebells, back in the day when I was going through a nutritional therapy program and I went and got my personal training certification with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. And I was just like really gung-ho and excited to kind of start this new fitness and nutrition business. It started out as paleo and I quickly realized that voice was needed because I think there was a comfort that people felt knowing that, Noelle follows a paleo diet, so do I, I can listen to her. So I think it was important for people to understand we weren't about dogma per se, but we also came from the perspective of like holistic health is really important and nutrition is important.

Noelle Tarr:
And I felt in my heart that I needed to move forward with ... I started writing nutrition articles and fitness articles and talking about how to like lose weight and all that kind of stuff because I thought that's what would work best and that's what would sell and that's what people needed. And I quickly, within months of kind of starting that content and all that writing and all that kind of stuff on my blog, I quickly moved to a much more personal topic, which is mindset and really pursuing what is right for you and taking a shift away from the dogma and diet culture and the shoulds and what is everybody else doing and what is the latest influencer telling you, you need to do? And I was trying to encourage people to move away from that and instead radically pursue what is right for them.

Noelle Tarr:
And so I wrote an article about why I don't want six pack abs. It was a really big moment for me of shifting body image into my business, talking more about body image and it was huge and it resonated with a lot of people. It was like, hey, I don't really need six back abs to be worthy and I don't need the perfect ... Like why are we so focused as a culture on six pack abs or the cellulite on her hip? Like why are we so focused on these things that don't equate to health? They don't equate to our worth as a human being. We all feel all this shame for the way we look and the fact that we eat these bad foods and we didn't run enough today. Like we're all just stuck in this spiral and it's so unhealthy, and why don't we just do what works for us and like radically accept ourselves and our bodies and eat good food and not like tie it to our worth, because that's not a real thing.

Noelle Tarr:
So anyway, long story short, I posted that article, it resonated with a lot of people and that's sort of what I have done, pursued mostly, which is talking about mindset and body image. Also, on the foundation of how to figure out what foods are right for you. So I have a book called Coconuts and Kettlebells, I wrote with my cohost Stefani Ruper. And in that book, we talk about here's how to follow a low carb approach if that works for you, here's how to follow more carb approach if that works for you. And we give really good information about here's some times where more carbs are better, here are some times where going lower carb is better.

Noelle Tarr:
And we just want people to do what's right for them and to be healthy and happy mentally, physically and emotionally. So that was me trying to be really succinct and not at all accomplishing it. But that's what I've been doing for the past five years basically, is the book and the podcast and the blog and writing programs and stuff like that, so.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. No, I love it so much. And I think that's one of the reasons that, a) I've loved your podcast for so long and, b) I think that we find ourselves on a very similar wavelength, is just this common theme of wanting to find the diet that works for you and wanting to pay attention and do things that are quote ... See, here it comes, like the whole morality issue. You want to do things that are right for your body but then there's this whole complicated layer of adding morality to the things, what is right, what is wrong? We're so individual. Some things work at some times and not others. And then you talked about the whole like it's so arbitrary and we have all these ideas of what's right and wrong, especially with body image and scale numbers. 

Melanie Avalon:
Like I was just ... I had like an epiphany of sorts the other day, I was looking at this chart, it was like a picture of the human body and it was like the human body is this percent muscle, this percent water, this percent fat, this percent ... There was like two other things I didn't even think about. And I was like how silly is it that in our body we have somehow determined that scale weight for example, is a reflection of your worth when it doesn't even mean anything? Like looking at this picture of the body, there's all this stuff inside of us, like what does it matter? What does it matter?

Melanie Avalon:
That was a tangent, I feel like I'm going to do that a lot.

Noelle Tarr:
No, but you're so right. We put all this worth in these numbers, right? So it's like your pant size, like we get so stuck on this number which is like a size six or a size eight. Typically, it's like a size of pants that we wear when we were in high school or college and very unhealthy and like had disordered eating behaviors or just we're like maybe underweight, maybe working out too much or maybe we were training for a marathon or whatever. We get stuck on that number and like trying to get back to that pant size, or I just want to get back to this number, this one number on the scale and that controls our thoughts for the majority of the day, for years and years and years. And it doesn't mean anything.

Noelle Tarr:
It means absolutely nothing in terms of your worth as a human being or your health. A lot of people go after the last five to 10 pounds for their entire life and it actually makes little to zero impact on your overall health. In my opinion, it makes a negative impact because it is weighing on you mentally and it is causing you to do things that you may not do in order to try to push yourself to lose those last five pounds that probably aren't super healthy. I know this, you know this, Melanie, like you can do a lot of things that don't improve your health, that lead to weight loss. I did that for so long and once I had that epiphany of like, why do I care so much about this number on the scale? And by the way, I'm doing unhealthy things to get there. Why not just take care of my body and forget about the people who care about whether I lose the last five pounds or not? Which by the way, is nobody. So no, good tangents.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. No, I have one last thought on that. Because I do think there's actually a very scientific mental reason for one of the reasons that we remember a weight and think, "I have to be this weight to be happy." I wonder if it has to do with, well, a) societal pressure saying that a certain weight is what you should be, but more so, at least I know for me, I'll like remember, at this time in my life I felt really good in my body and at that time I was this weight. We know that our brain, like when we're experiencing something that's either like really great or really seemingly bad, our brain looks around and tries to find all the things that are happening at that time and it associates those as a reason for that experience, whether or not they're connected at all.

Melanie Avalon:
So I could go on a huge tangent about that. But I do wonder often with the whole identity aspect, if people, they think back at a time that they were a certain weight and so their brain is thinking, "I was that weight. So if I'm that way again, that's what I'll be." Which is just so silly, because you're not the person you were then. It's quite possible that you will be much more in tune and intuitive and comfortable in your body at a completely different weight. But I think we much prefer often to look to our past and what seems certain rather than the future and the uncertainty.

Noelle Tarr:
I like that. You're right. It feels like it's easier to control. Like we feel we have a false sense of control if we can look back and say, "We were that weight and we had the esteem and the power and all the things, so I just need to get back to that." That's actually easier I think for our brains to grasp onto as opposed to being like, I can actually do all those things at a different weight in my body.

Noelle Tarr:
I would like to ask you a little bit more about your personal health story and your journey. How did you get into health and what made you want to put all this information out there publicly? Because I think you and I have a unique position as podcasters where we talk a lot and we end up talking a lot about our own personal experiences and so it ends up being that we are very public with a lot of personal issues that we're going through.

Noelle Tarr:
So what was it, and just as like even a personal interest of mine, what was it that made you say, "I really want to go public with all my issues?"

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, so long story short, and I will try to make this long story short, growing up, I was always trying to be ... I mean, I followed like the standard American diet or whatever and I was always trying to like probably lose 10 pounds. I mean, it wasn't like a big deal. It was just like always trying to control your weight, but it wasn't a big deal.

Melanie Avalon:
I always emphasize that because I think people ... I didn't have like really intense like disordered eating or anything like that, but I was always trying different diets kind of casually. That's a good word, casually. So like calorie counting, maybe short romantic fling with vegetarianism, like silly little things. I tried the cookie diet.

Noelle Tarr:
I've read that on your website. What is that?

Melanie Avalon:
So you pay for these cookies and they're like specially formulated cookies that you're supposed to eat. They're supposed to replace your meals. So you eat cookies for like ... Like five cookies during the day and then you eat a normal dinner. a) the cookies were so good, I just wanted to eat more cookies, which I normally would. b) I looked at the ingredients recently and the cookies were basically like gluten and wheat.

Melanie Avalon:
I don't even know what they were. They were like fiber and gluten. That happened. So then sophomore year of college, I tried low carb to lose some pounds and that was the first time that I realized, "I actually feel different." Like it's not just weight loss. Like I started getting better energy, my skin started getting better and then I was like, "So maybe like what I'm putting in my mouth actually affects other things besides my weight."

Melanie Avalon:
So then I became a little bit obsessed as I tend to get, and I started doing all the research all the time and I was like, "Wow, there's all this science to diet and like it will literally fix your body." That's how I found intermittent fasting. So I started doing that like junior year of college, said I was going to do it for a week, committed to it with a friend. I was like, this is going to be miserable. And it was so amazing, I never stopped. And that was like a decade ago.

Melanie Avalon:
And then when I graduated from college, I tried paleo. I was like, I'm going to take it one step further. Didn't think it would make much of a difference. But basically, until then I was eating low-carb but processed foods. So then I tried eating just whole foods, and again, saw amazing benefits. So I became really obsessed and pursuing acting in LA, I was often on sets like every day and I would not be eating during when they would have their luscious eating times because in case people are wondering, oh Noelle, you would be interested in this because I know you like to hear about set life, it's kind of crazy because when you're on like films and TVs where they have big budgets, the food situation is unreal.

Melanie Avalon:
Like the snack station could feed like a third world country and I probably shouldn't joke about that, but it really could. And the meals are like so much food and it's like gourmet and it's just insane.

Noelle Tarr:
Really?

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. If it's a little budget, then no. Then it'll be like, here's a pop tart. Yeah, one set I was on, they had a shrimp ice sculpture. 

Noelle Tarr:
Oh my gosh.

Melanie Avalon:
I'm not making this up. I was like, "Why is there an ice sculpture?" But there was shrimp in it. So point being, I would not be eating, partaking in these experiences and people would ask questions. And I got really tired of like explaining myself all the time. So I was like, "I'm just going to write a book." That's why I wrote the book.

Noelle Tarr:
So the book came before your blog?

Melanie Avalon:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Actually, it might have all been around the same time, same time-ish. But I originally self-published the book. So this was like a self-published version. And fast forward, everything was great, everything was working, got food poisoning, and then that started the downward spiral/upward spiral because we're always going to look upward, of GI issues and then when your gut gets out of whack, it's actually pretty, pretty hard to get it back together. 

Melanie Avalon:
That was the first time that I ... I wasn't just like thrilled about the possibility of, oh yeah, you can feel fantastic from diet. It became like a necessity and a relentless hunger search to figure out how our foods, like really how are they affecting me and how can I best manage my health? And yeah, so things got intense. And I've been struggling because it's nice when everything's working and you're feeling really great with it. And I think that happens in a lot of camps, especially people who are like hardcore, extreme extremists with diets. Like they find a diet that works for them, it works for them. It's an extreme diet. And so they think it'll work for everybody.

Melanie Avalon:
And I totally get that because if you've never actually experienced struggles with finding the diet that works for you, it's very easy to see, this diet works for me, I feel great. It should work for everybody. So I'm the complete opposite. I'm like, I know how hard it is to find the foods that work for you. And I don't think there's one diet that works for everybody. And please, I don't want people to get into camps and think that one food is right and one food is wrong when really it needs a much more comprehensive picture.

Melanie Avalon:
And then I struggle with like this impostor syndrome now where I feel like I'm putting out there what I'm finding in my research and experimenting what I really think can truly help people but at the same time, I have my own struggles and challenges. So it's like, ugh. People will come to me and they're like, "What do you eat? What do you do?" I'm like, "Don't ask me. Do not ask me."

Noelle Tarr:
So you're in a position right now where you're still trying to figure things out. Would that be correct? 

Melanie Avalon:
I think I'll always be in ... Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Noelle Tarr:
That's true. I think I'll always be trying to figure things out because life does change, right? Like our circumstances change and so our bodies change and what works for us changes. And I think that one of these really interesting things about being, as we age and get older, is that hormones change, our stress levels change, and life around us is changing. And then as we age, that has an impact on how we operate. Some of us end up getting pregnant, raising my hand. And that really changes everything.

Noelle Tarr:
And so what used to work really well is no longer working. And it gets really confusing. And truthfully, I think that what I'm doing now will probably be not at all what I'm doing in 10 years down the road. Like what about perimenopause and menopause? Like how am I going to go through all of that and what's going to change then? And so I am totally with you. Like I think we're all always struggling in our own ways and trying to figure out like what is going on, what's going to work for us now and how can we feel better and live better?

Noelle Tarr:
I hate this and people hate this too, but I'm like everything always comes down to like where's the stress coming from and how can I reduce it?

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, exactly. I'm so happy you kept saying the word change, because if I only want one thing to not change, I would love to ... And this is something I've been bringing so many people on this podcast about and discussed recently. I had an episode with Amy Johnson. I'll put a link to it in the show notes. I really recommend listeners check it out. But I think like the stress and the mindset piece is so huge if that ... If I've learned one thing, because things are going to keep changing like you said. So I'm really trying to cultivate a mindset of, is like reaching a place where I am okay with any experience because realizing that I'm not the experience, things change and that's okay, that my inner spirits, like the Melanie inside of me or the Noelle inside of you, like that's not affected by our physical experiences. 

Melanie Avalon:
What's happening with our diet, what's happening with our bodies, what's happening with our stress? Like there can still be this foundational person inside of us that doesn't have to be affected by that. So I just want to be at a place where I welcome change, because change is change, and not having all this drama and meaning attached to my physical experience at any one moment because that's not what defines me.

Noelle Tarr:
That's a really hard place to come to. 

Melanie Avalon:
I know, I know.

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah. I mean, and I feel like that's one thing that God's been working on with me in particular is because I've been, for those of you who don't know, all of my listeners will know, but I have been struggling with chronic pain and unexplained and I've gotten the MRIs and I've gotten everything and I've been in and out of physical therapists and chiropractors and I am sort of coming on the other side of it, which has just been incredible. But there was a point where I had to sit with that and say, "Okay, this may be an infliction that I manage for the rest of my life." And it is, it is. But this may be something that I have to experience on a daily basis and still choose joy and realize that this is not going to be my forever and this is my time here on earth and I'm going to have to choose joy, manage it and realize that I can be okay and live a like semi-normal healthy life and happy life without figuring things out 100% and without controlling it.

Noelle Tarr:
Because my issue is I always want to control things and like figure them out and fix them. And so it was like, Noelle, maybe this isn't going to be fixed and you have to be at peace with that. And that has to be ... You have to find your worth in Christ, for me in particular, because I'm a Christian and that's where my hope lies. And so it's like I have to be okay with like cool, like I'm just going to be at peace here and Jesus has to be enough and that is really hard. And it's maybe I don't fix it and like, hello Noelle, you're not in control. And that is a really hard place for me in particular to be.

Noelle Tarr:
And I realize like so many people with chronic issues, like they have to go through this every day. When you wake up and you have a chronic health condition, you can't necessarily "fix it." It's something that you have to wake up and choose every day to choose joy and to understand like, I can't control this. I can't 100% fix it. And so I just have to be able to manage it in a way where I wake up and if something happens, like I have to know that I'm going to be capable of handling it, my family is going to be okay with it and we're just going to tackle things as they come. 

Noelle Tarr:
And so that's a huge mindset shift. And it's very hard I think for personality types like yours and mine, Melanie, who we are achievers and accomplishers, we want to fix things and we want to be in control, but sometimes that's a detriment to our health.

Melanie Avalon:
You were saying like being okay. I feel like that's ... There's so much peace though in that concept of just being okay with things. And I think like you said, that can really bring us back to a place of love and joy and gratitude. And I mean, I know like Noelle and I are very similar in that we're both ... Yeah, like you said, achievers, like doing all the things all the time. We want to be in control. And what I've experienced, at least saw it recently as well with that is I remember I would always hear like even a few years ago, this idea of like, "If you keep going at this pace, you'll hit burnout." And I'm like, that'll never happen. Like-

Noelle Tarr:
I know, me too.

Melanie Avalon:
... That doesn't happen. Like no. That's been happening. And I'm like, okay, so this is what this is.

Noelle Tarr:
How does that make you feel? Like, I mean, when you're realizing you are kind of burning out, like how are you processing that? 

Melanie Avalon:
It's so interesting because there are obviously different ways we can respond to that. Initially, I would respond with sort of like panic, like okay, how can I further control things so this doesn't happen? Which, I don't think is the answer long term. That sort of shifted to ... I actually have a tendency to kind of, and I don't like this either, but go to a sort of state of apathy. Like, okay, well I just won't engage with this then. Like if there's something that's unpleasant to me, it's like, okay, I'll just not engage because that's very safe rather than stress about it, which we cannot afford to do at this moment because of stress.

Melanie Avalon:
But I don't think apathy is the answer either, which finally brings us to what I was mentioning, like being okay thing. So I think what I'm working on right now is learning how to accept that okay, I can't do all the things all the time. I can do what I can do and that's okay and I can be at a place hopefully and continually and what I'm working on is being at a place where I can choose what I choose to do. I can choose to do things that bring me joy and I can hopefully stop stressing about having to fulfill these maddening goals that I set for myself.

Melanie Avalon:
I was talking to a friend and they were talking about how they work for like a conventional boss and how they did not like their boss and I was like, well I sort of have a boss, but it's me and it's like the worst boss ever. And if you took like my internal me, like that's like the Melanie boss inside of me and like made it a third party person, that would be the worst boss ever.

Melanie Avalon:
But they'd be like, you need to do more, you're not doing enough. Like you're such a failure, pull yourself together. And so that's a struggle.

Noelle Tarr:
It's our inner critic.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. I think it's really hard, especially in our social media day today where we feel like we have to be on all the time and we never have solitude anymore because we're constantly connected to things. But how about you? Like, so is this the order? You had like the blog and the internet and all of that and then the podcast and the book and then like your strong from home program, like is that sort of ... How did that all materialize for you and how have you seen that affecting your life as far as running it as a business and then what we just talked about with like the stress and not hitting burnout?

Melanie Avalon:
And then of course, you have two beautiful children, so that's a whole nother aspect. Bringing in family. 

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah, yeah. I think ... And I probably ... I haven't really spoken publicly about a lot of this, but I mean I have, but at the same time, you don't necessarily talk about your fail division. But I am so appreciative for the opportunity, like I'll get this out of the way for the sake, but I'm so appreciative that I get to work from home and manage my own schedule and I have the flexibility to not work for somebody and work for myself and all that stuff. This is kind of what I had set up for myself five years ago down the road. My husband and I, we're on board for it. Got myself out of my corporate job. Here I am, it's finally all coming.

Noelle Tarr:
We wanted to have kids and I got pregnant and when I did I was like, okay, here we go. I'm going to finish this book, I'm going to finish my program. And I did, but after I had my daughter, it was a huge, huge wake up call to me in terms of I just like .... I can't do it all and it was very, very hard for me to live in a ... She's a strong-willed, wonderful, incredible child, but she drained me. I struggled with postpartum anxiety. I wasn't sleeping. It was just a lot, and it was a lot that wasn't in my control. And so having kids is the ultimate welcome to not having control ever experience.

Noelle Tarr:
And so I think that that was a huge shift for me. And once my daughter turned one, I was like, cool, I'm starting to feel better. So I set all these big goals. I was actually going to write a second book. Here we go with the fail division. Just going to write a second book, I still would love to, but I doubt, it's just not going to happen. And I wanted to do like a family cookbook, I wanted to really sow into beauty counter as a company and a business and I was like, this is the year of the business, and then I unexpectedly got pregnant quite quickly after that when my daughter was like 13 months. So we were like great. And I was excited but also terrified and it was a very, very, very hard year for me emotionally, physically.

Noelle Tarr:
If I talk too much about it, I will just start crying because it has just been, just a weight, such a huge weight on me and it was mostly because of my chronic pain and I was bedridden and I was like trying to keep a good face on for everybody and trying to like keep it together. But like I was ... Like I just felt so invaluable as a person because I couldn't ... I could barely take care of my one-year-old.

Noelle Tarr:
My husband had to deal with the majority of the work. I was like laid out for the last, I guess three or four months of pregnancy. Then when I finally had him, it still was a huge struggle. I got mastitis, which is a nasty bacterial infection, three times. I've had a very rough experience with my second postpartum. 

Noelle Tarr:
He's great, which is awesome. My son is amazing and healthy and I just ... I thank God every day for that. However, I have really been through the ringer. And so I had all these huge goals and like I want to help people and I want to get more into business. And I actually get really motivated by helping more people and getting involved in my business and doing my work. And it's almost like ... I don't know if you feel this way Melanie, but like my work is almost a chance for me to ... Doing the things that I like, not the draining tasks of like, I've got to edit this and do the ... But like this kind of work, what we're doing right here, having this conversation, interviewing people and working with my teams and that kind of stuff, like that's really invigorating for me.

Noelle Tarr:
It's actually my, what people would call downtime, for me, it's kind of what gives me energy. And so for the good part of the year, I've felt like I am literally drowning. Like there are like rocks on my ankles, I'm in the water and I cannot get a breath. And so that's how I felt really the last year until maybe about like right now. And it's been very emotionally draining for me and mentally and physically too.

Noelle Tarr:
And I got to the point a couple months ago where I just was like sobbing because I just couldn't, I was so done with being in pain and my husband was like, "I'm figuring this out." And he asked around and found a pain specialist that really helped me, just a physical therapist. So I'm like definitely on the mend. I'm definitely like perkier and happier now and I feel better. But it's been a really rough year, especially being in the health and wellness field, when you have these goals and this vision and you want to do all this stuff and you just can't do any of it and you feel like you're struggling and you want to still help people, but like you don't have your own oxygen mask on, it's really hard.

Noelle Tarr:
And so I know that a lot of people, my listeners who have listened to this podcast, have heard me probably complain more than ... They've heard me enough complain about my back pain and just like working through all of that. But it's taken a lot, a lot out of me. And so that's been really hard as somebody in the "public eye" when you're really struggling so much and you want to not be, how do you navigate those waters and how much do you share and how much do you maintain face?

Noelle Tarr:
And so I've sort of used this opportunity to just be super authentic and open, even if it's not going to help my cause, it's not good for my health to be anything but open and honest with people. And social media has been such a huge struggle with that. I know so many people, especially in our audience, like when we asked for questions, when Melanie and I did, we got a lot of questions about like, how do you manage social media and all that? And it's really, really hard. I know I struggle with it personally. I know Melanie struggles with it, but I've had to really shift and adapt and I look at all these people doing all these cool things and posting all the time. And I know you do too Melanie, and I'm like, I want to be you, but I can't. And I can't maintain my business that way. So I have to do ... I've just decided this year to radically be okay with, that's that word. Be okay, be okay with doing what is right for me and my health. And if that means not posting on Instagram for a week even though I "should be" and everybody else is. And then it means I take the week off and I don't post anything. And that's just how it goes. I have to go with my flow.

Noelle Tarr:
And I'm honest with people now. If you see my Instagram posts, I'm usually like, this was a really sucky week. Here's a cute picture of my kids though. But I just think people actually, in my opinion, and I've talked to you Melanie about this, I think people will relate more to those struggles than they do seeing you be completely fake and positive all the time, so.

Melanie Avalon:
You've said so much that resonates with me and I'm sure it resonates with so many people. And so you were talking about how like conversations like this are actually what gives you energy and how some things can be draining and others not. And I've recently been reading the book, have you heard of Kyle Cease? I think I told you about him. 

Noelle Tarr:
Mm-mm (negative). You always have all these people, Melanie, that are like ... You're like, have you heard of? And I'm like, no, I need to write that down. You know all the people and all the things.

Melanie Avalon:
That's my problem. Actually, just a quick side note, that's one of the problems, is I'm like constantly consuming information. And I don't think ... I was listening to another interview, irony aside, talking about how taxing it is on our brain because we can't constantly be consuming information 24/7. Like that wasn't a possibility for our brains in the past. And so now we're at this point where our brain is like constantly consuming and our brains can't handle that. Like they need time to like not.

Noelle Tarr:
This is not to say that you should stop listening to this podcast, but I will say that like you're so right. Like now, we're in the car and we're listening to podcasts and we're listening to news and then we're like get home, we turn on the TV and we're always like consuming, consuming, consuming. And we don't ever have a moment where we're like, let me just sit here and do nothing.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. Because he was saying when we stop taking in information, there's a point where the brain actually reorganizes that information, interprets it, makes meaning of it. And we actually need that. And if we're constantly consuming, we never have that. Same with the solitude that I was mentioning before is that we may think we have solitude, but we never do because even when we're in like the car for example, 10 years ago you'd be in the car and okay, that was like a moment of solitude because there was literally nobody to talk to, but now we get on our phones.

Noelle Tarr:
Right. Or breastfeeding, we get on our phones. I've tried to stop myself from like ... It's like, okay, Noelle, just sit and look at him and not be on your phone. And honestly, I've been dealing with a lot more ... This is where Melanie has come in and helped me with her biohacking, is that I have been getting a lot of migraines and headaches. And so I've been doing more red light therapy and blocking blue light because I think I'm on my phone so much because I'm breastfeeding a lot and I'm like in the dark a lot. And so I'm scrolling and I'm like, whoa, I am so in over-consumption mode and so in like blue light mode that it's actually impacting like headaches, migraines, all that kind of stuff. So yeah.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, it's huge. And what I've started doing more and more is just setting more boundaries. And it's hard, so like notifications and things, I turn them all off. So that's why I'm sort of bad sometimes with like texts and different things because I just have turned off all notifications. I figure, if somebody has to get to me, they will. That's why I always have to check emails, so that I do check. But I have my ... Like at night, after a certain time, I have my routine and I don't engage after that. And I've just started to realize I'm like, okay, it's okay for me to go into this time where I cut off the world and if something so bad happens where I need to be contacted, like I'm sure I will be somehow found and contacted.

Melanie Avalon:
But I know like not everybody might not feel like they can set up certain boundaries. But I think we can set up boundaries even if it's something as simple as I'm going to try, okay every time I'm in the elevator, for example, not to get on my phone and see what happens. And I mean, that's a really good exercise in mindfulness. Kind of similar to like when you do meditation and you realize how much ... They say meditation, it's not about being quiet, it's about realizing that this voice that constantly talks in your head is not you and that that's okay and you don't have to engage or do what it wants you to do.

Noelle Tarr:
Well, do you constantly feel like you're pulled back in though? Because, I think is ... There are a lot of personality types that are like pulled into social media because it does feel like a sense of connection and when they're not connected, it's hard. But also with you, and I know a lot of our listeners have their own businesses and they're trying to build them online, it gets really hard when you're trying to build a business online. And I wonder, how do you manage that? Like how do you manage being healthy mentally, emotionally and physically and pulling yourself away from social media, but also understanding like, got to be on social media, like do all my things, like how do you navigate those waters?

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, it is really hard at. And it speaks to something ... So like, because I just need more time. It's like if we had more time, because that's something else. Like I want to be really connected to my audience. So I have like a Facebook group, Paleo OMAD Biohackers, and I mean it's only about 3500 members right now, but it's a wonderful ... It's only, it's only ... Well, my cohost Gin, of the Intermittent Fasting Podcast, her groups net over 100,000 members. So like that puts things in perspective.

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah, sure.

Melanie Avalon:
But still, the community that I'm growing with the podcast that I'm so passionate and grateful for and just adore so much, but something that's really important to me is this personal connection to people. And so I really, I do want to be connected to people. I do want to engage with people and it's like now I'm like answering your question with a question, but it's like how do you balance engaging and not feeling like you're shutting the door in people's faces with ... There's only a certain amount of time during the day and you can't be 24/7 engaging with social media or with somebody every single day.

Melanie Avalon:
This is something I want to implement that I'm sort of haven't quite implemented yet.

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah, it's like it's a whole new ... I think it's a whole new world that everybody is facing, is like how do we move forward and live our lives with social media as a part of that? Like this is a huge topic and a big question and a big question for the next generation. And so like when you went into college, were you like all on social media and all that kind of stuff?

Melanie Avalon:
I guess during college it was mostly Facebook, but I've never been a huge social media person. So like even when like Instagram came out, I was like, ugh. And I mean, I feel like when I was in college, it wasn't quite to the intensity ... So where that was like, I guess almost like a decade ago. Not quite, but it wasn't to the intensity I think that it is today. I think it has so rapidly become more intense.

Noelle Tarr:
It's intense.

Melanie Avalon:
So, well I'm super thankful that I was raised before, like high school and middle school, this wasn't a thing. I don't even know what it'd be like to be in the social media world now as like an adolescent. In college, I think it was like a good time still, but now it's just like ... It's so, like I just said, intense. 

Melanie Avalon:
I mean, something I would like to try implementing that I haven't completely implemented yet is I know like Tim Ferriss said in one of his books, one of his podcasts or somewhere, that like for emails for example, he only checks them like in the morning I think and then the evening and not throughout the day, or does he only check in the evening? He only checks it like one certain amount of time because he said that most issues actually resolve themselves before then. So like if you just check the emails at night, half the stuff that people were like emailing about might already be addressed.

Melanie Avalon:
I sort of want to try like setting up social media engagement time blocks where it's like okay, this is the time that I'm engaging and then doing it all then. Rather than feeling like I constantly have to check Facebook every single second, constantly check Instagram, constantly check ... I realized it's become very much a dopamine thing. I feel like those little rats, where they do the science experiments and like the rats hit the thing to get the sugar, hit the thing to get the cocaine, or hit the thing to get the drug. That's what I feel like with social media because it's like whenever I have a moment where, okay I could take a minute and not do anything right now, it's like, no. Let me click my phone and see if there's an alert. Let me click my Insta. Let me check my email, let me ...

Melanie Avalon:
It's like I'm that little rodent, I'm a little ... Trying to get the sugar.

Noelle Tarr:
You're much cuter than a rodent, Melanie, I will say. But yeah, that's very intuitive because it is exactly that. There's actually been a lot of studies about how a notification is like a hit for us. And so a lot of social media companies like apps and stuff like that, put those little red notifications. That's what they want you to push you notifications. Once you check it more on you're on more but also you get that dopamine hit and that's why you'll see a lot intertwined into the development of apps and stuff like that. There are always opportunities for you to see like a little red number that's like, something's new, you've got mail or you've got a new comment. 

Noelle Tarr:
Like they try to push it really hard so that you get more addicted to it. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. That's why only one of my favorite things was cutting off all notifications on my phone. But then I got so upset because like I got a new phone, I like got rid of all the notifications, I put it in do not disturb, but then it had a notification. So whenever I would turn it on, it'd be like phone is in do not disturb mode. I'm like, why are you giving me a notification to tell me you're in do not disturb mode? Like the purpose was to minimize ... Sorry, a little side note.

Noelle Tarr:
No, I mean all of this is to say that it's just ... It's a really different time that we live in. And I think it's only getting worse. It's just we have to learn how to coincide with social media in a healthy way. And as business owners, as people who are not business owners, we have to be very intentional with how we consume and like our health depends on it.

Noelle Tarr:
And so it's just, I think it is being intentional, it's putting boundaries. I like your idea of like the blocks. And I also just take the opportunity to like work on things, like I don't know about you, but I just have a hard time sometimes on my phone being efficient. So I try to find ways to make it more efficient. If I need to be on my phone and I need to be working, how can I be very efficient?

Noelle Tarr:
And so that's maybe I'll do a little bit of research beforehand. Sometimes I type stuff up in a note on my computer so that I can just like kind of copy and paste it. And it's just time blocking. It's treating it like I have a moment here, I'm going to apply my time, and when I'm done, I need to remove myself and I'm not going to open the app. And it does take work to do that.

Noelle Tarr:
But otherwise, we're just a victim to the notifications. And that's not a place I don't, and I think nobody wants to be living that way.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. And then to that, the next problem or the next issue is wanting to be efficient because then it's like, I need to capitalize on all my time, so I need to be making every moment productive. So then I fall into this trap of like, how can I maximize every single second to get every single second out of it? When I would much rather as a person just be at a place where I'm doing what I want to do at this moment, and that's okay and I don't have to be doing other things.

Melanie Avalon:
It's okay to not engage with everything. It's kind of like the idea of, I heard minimalism expressed this way and I hadn't heard it expressed this way before, but I'm seeing how minimalism was finding like great joy and a few things rather than a little bit of joy and a lot of things. And I was like, yes. That's why I feel like now I'm trying to spread myself thin and I'm trying to consume all the information and do all the stuff all the time when maybe it's more about having great, beautiful joy in every moment for what it is rather than feeling like it has to be other things.

Melanie Avalon:
And you were talking about feeling weighted down and I just feel like we carry so many things that make us so heavy and we think we need them. Like because that's all we know and we think if we don't have them, then we're not doing enough or that things won't be okay. So I'm also just trying to move towards this place of like not doing anything that makes me feel heavy. And that's really vague.

Noelle Tarr:
What kind of things are that for you?

Melanie Avalon:
Well, it's really interesting as a thought experiment, listeners, you can do this as a thought experiment. So like think of all the different things that you do throughout the day and you can feel in your heart, your reaction to it. Like I think we like to take our brain and be like, and we like to think through our decisions and our choices and be like this is ... We like to make a list. Should I do this? And this is why it's good and this is why it's bad and this is why I should do it and this is why I shouldn't.

Melanie Avalon:
We try to like figure it out logically, when our heart seems to know pretty intuitively what it wants to do. And it makes me wonder if we did just live by our heart, what would happen? And honestly, I think it's fear that keeps us from doing that. I mean, I know I'm too scared to do that.

Melanie Avalon:
To make this more like practical because I feel like I'm using a lot of words. So if I look at my day, what are things I do during the day? Recording this episode with Noelle, working on my other podcast, prepping other books, working on an app, answering emails, going to the grocery store, listening to books. There are all these potential things and I could think about those individually. And how does it like make me feel? Does it feel like a burden? Does it feel like something I'm dreading or does it feel like something I am excited about and want to do and I'm looking forward to? And it makes me wonder, if I only did the things that filled me with joy and did not feel like a burden, what would life look like?

Melanie Avalon:
That's a terrifying, terrifying thing to just ... If you just jumped into that.

Noelle Tarr:
Right. But some of that is like you can't get rid of all those things. If you're a parent ... Not to say that my kids don't bring me joy, but there are a lot of mundane tasks that are not super like joy giving. You have to be able to sometimes take those mundane tasks or those tasks that don't bring you joy and be okay with processing through those things and having to have them as part of your day and still being thankful and understanding. 

Noelle Tarr:
Like that's just where sometimes you have to do that kind of stuff. It's your day is going to be mixed.

Melanie Avalon:
No, I'm so glad you said that because I need to clarify, so I want to clarify. So not joy per se, because there are things in a way we don't have to do anything, but there are things we have to do, like as a mother and caring for your children. And so you have to do them.

Melanie Avalon:
But I think ... And I don't want to put an idea in your head, so I'd love to hear your answer to this. But I think if you think about the things that you have to do, taking care of your kids, for example, or mundane tasks that just have to be done, I think there's two types of when we think about those, reactions we could have. So not necessarily, does it spark joy? But as far as like not wanting to do it, is it because you don't want to do it because you know it's mundane or it's going to take a lot of physical effort? So it's like it's something that has to be done, it takes a lot of energy but it's the physical energy that is making it a drag compared to the emotional burden energy.

Melanie Avalon:
And I think those are the things that we could let go of. Because, I think ... And I don't want to put, and so I really want to hear your answer to this, but at least I feel like for me, if I was a mom, if I knew I had to do these things for my kids, I think I would probably have ... There'd be the things where it's like, okay this takes a lot out of me, this wipes me out physically. But I'm a mom, I love my kids. So I'm doing it. So it's not like an emotional stress burden of something I want to let go of because I wouldn't let go, compare it to something where I want to let go of this and something's not letting me let go.

Noelle Tarr:
I think one of the things that's really interesting in this stage of life for me is ... And one of the things that I've been struggling with is right now, is like I just feel like my time isn't my own. I feel like I'm sort of ping ponging back and forth trying to take care of two babies and manage a house and feed everybody and like barely run my business. And like again, this is all in my mind, this is how I'm perceiving it and it's not necessarily true, but I continually come back to Noelle, this is a choice, this is what you're choosing to do. 

Noelle Tarr:
And I actually find a lot of peace in that because yes, the stuff is mundane and truthfully it is actually very emotionally draining. Like for me, it's just like I am giving into these children mentally, emotionally, and physically and that's actually the most taxing for me, is just like having to be an emotional support person to a toddler who is a total Tasmanian Devil.

Melanie Avalon:
I can see that. For listeners, I was showing my mom Noelle's Instagram, and I was like, she has this daughter, Stella. And my mom was like, "Oh my goodness, she looks like ..." What word did she use? I mean, she thought she was adorable. She said, "She looks like ..." What's the word for like a really intense child? I don't know.

Noelle Tarr:
Strong-willed?

Melanie Avalon:
Strong-willed, yeah. She was like, "She looks very strong-willed." And I was like, "I know, I feel like she is."

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah, it's like everything's a meltdown. And that's okay because they're ... Toddlers don't know how to process their emotions. But for me in particular, that's what's so draining by the end of the day because I have to like maintain my patience and help her process her emotions and not lose my poop. Like I have to do all this, like I have to be calm and sometimes I'm definitely not and I fail at that but I keep coming back to like, this is a choice. Like this is the life that I have set up. These are the things that I'm choosing to do. I wouldn't change it and it's okay. 

Noelle Tarr:
And you know what? If I ever feel like, well I don't want to do this anymore, I don't feel guilt or shame about it. I think of the weight that you're talking about is feeling ... This is just my experience. It's like feeling the guilt and the shame of like feeling bad about whatever you're doing. Like, I kind of hate this. And I think a lot of moms feel that way sometimes. Like sometimes we're just done, we're just done with it by the end of the day. And you know what? I think the most freeing thing for me has been recognizing where I'm starting to feel guilt or mom guilt or shame about any of that stuff and be like, "No, you know what? It's cool to be done with it sometimes."

Noelle Tarr:
Also, like I've chosen this, this is what I want to do. This is the life I've set up and sometimes it's not going to be pretty and other times it's going to be really great. And so I have to learn how to like mentally, emotionally, physically, like process all of that and just be able to let it go and sometimes say, "This isn't fun but it's a choice and I'm going to move forward and do it anyway."

Noelle Tarr:
And I think it's just, to use a Melanie word, reframing it and understanding like as opposed to saying like, "Oh, I hate this. I don't want to do this." Saying like, "You know what? This isn't fun, but I'm choosing to do this. Like this is cool. Like I'm okay with this not being fun and it's okay to like not enjoy it and I don't need to feel bad about that." I can say, "Yeah, this isn't fun," and just keep moving forward.

Noelle Tarr:
That has been 2019 for Noelle Tarr.

Melanie Avalon:
No, exactly. Going back to like the being okay thing, being okay with the way things are, be okay and then I think the followup for me is, be enough. Like just feel like, almost the same thing as I am okay, I am enough. Like I don't have to be more, I don't have to be experiencing more. I don't have to be anything other than what I am at this moment. And that's okay.

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah, and I know that you're working on this too and I think that people in general, women in general, we could all benefit from letting go of the things that aren't serving us. And I think that that's what you were talking about too, is just like in terms of like letting go of the things that aren't bringing you joy. Like I've had to really reevaluate, when you get to a point like you are, Melanie, where you're burnt out or me, where I'm ... We're at different stages of burnout for different reasons. It's like you really have to reevaluate what it is that you're doing, where are you putting your energy towards and what do you need to let go of so that you can survive and continue to do the things that bring you joy.

Noelle Tarr:
Because sometimes if you're keeping these extra things that you think you "should be doing," they're robbing you of energy and that's energy that you could be putting into things that you want to do in that bring you joy. So I've totally had to reevaluate that as well in 2019, is just figure out what things ... What's zapping my energy and how can I restructure everything so that I have more energy to do things that are better for my health and bring me joy? So.

Melanie Avalon:
I just keep thinking, the irony of thinking. But the more and more I researched like mindset, epigenetics, like how our perspective of our environment and our world affects our body on a physical level. It just seems so key that our perspective of everything is huge as far as literally how our cells manifest and how our genes affect our body.

Melanie Avalon:
So if we can reach this state, it's really hopeful and it's really amazing because in theory, every single ... In theory, every single moment could be a moment of growth, healing and renewal. In theory. If we could choose to interpret everything as doing that, which is very exciting to move towards. And I know that seems like, you can't ... I'm not saying you have to be like really, really happy all the time, but literally every moment could be a moment of just experiencing the world, learning from it, benefiting from it, enjoying what is to be enjoyed. There doesn't have to be stress, fear or heavy things from an emotional standpoint because it's our brain which decides emotionally how to interpret that.

Melanie Avalon:
That's super hard. And I obviously am not there, but-

Noelle Tarr:
Can we ask a question from our community?

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, please.

Noelle Tarr:
Okay. So I have one from Jacqueline and I think that this is ... I'd really like to hear your perspective on it. And she says, "I would love perspective on how introverts and ambiverts felt at first taking the big dive into sharing your life so publicly, opening up that space to want to connect with others or do something entrepreneurial is very exciting but also intimidating and scary. How do you set boundaries for what to share? Kid pictures, no kid pictures. What to say, what not to say. How to arm yourself against negative feedback if you're a highly sensitive person. All these skills are such a strength, but also make someone incredibly vulnerable and nervous to want to put themselves out there."

Noelle Tarr:
Now are you an introvert? 

Melanie Avalon:
100%.

Noelle Tarr:
Okay.

Melanie Avalon:
People are really shocked by that. Or podcast listeners are.

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah. No, it is for me because you are very open. So how do you protect yourself from getting drained, so to speak, as an entrepreneur? I think that that's something really interesting to think about because you typically do have to really put yourself out there a lot. And then also, there's this downside of you put yourself out there and then oftentimes you get feedback and some of it's negative.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. So remember at the beginning when I was saying how like with the food stuff, people would come to me and be like, "What do you do?" And I'm like, "Don't ask me." This is a perfect example of that. I don't really have a healthy relationship with how I engage with this because I am such an introvert, and I'm very shy and I take things very personally and I get really upset if I think people don't like me. I take things very, very personally. 

Melanie Avalon:
So it was really hard when we first started, especially the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. And I would read some reviews, iTunes. And the thing about iTunes that's so frustrating is you can't talk back. Like you read this and it's just like there.

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah.

Melanie Avalon:
So I would read ... I started getting ... I mean, the funny thing is you get so many amazing support and love and things, but we obviously see the negatives. And the way I dealt with that, and this is not a good example of anything, but the way I've dealt with that was I would Google for hours why it's good to have haters. So I had to reframe about, is this actually a good thing? That's how I chose to engage with that. And then-

Noelle Tarr:
Are you ... Sorry. I'm like, want to interview you but at the same time ... How do you protect yourself as an introvert from ... Like, okay so that's how you deal with negative feedback, but also like how do you protect yourself from getting exhausted from just putting ... Having to be sort of ... I would call it like on point. Like you kind of have to be on point a lot, especially with interviewing and podcasting, like do you have to proactively take downtime? 

Melanie Avalon:
Yes. So ... Well, actually and like when pursuing acting, this was always the thing that was a big part of it as well, was I had to feel very much like on point for like auditions or going to things. So in a way though, that lifestyle, when I was more pursuing that 100% before all the podcasting and everything, that was almost better because it was like I could pull it all together, I could be on point for this concentrated amount of time when I'm auditioning. And then when I wasn't there, it was like, okay. I didn't have to deal with anything else because I wasn't really engaging with social media because I didn't feel the need to. So it was like I could balance between the two, and I felt really good and really like I felt I got a big high from like auditioning and everything and being on sets.

Melanie Avalon:
So I think it worked really well compared to now where it's like I just feel like I have to constantly be on point all the time and engaging with people all the time. And as people will know, the way I was dealing with it was I just chose not to engage. So like I was not on Instagram.

Noelle Tarr:
Right.

Melanie Avalon:
This is a good thing. It sounds like not where I'm coming from, but Noelle was like, you just start putting yourself out there more on Instagram and being more open with people. And I'm actually very, very grateful for that. So thank you Noelle. Thank you. You pulled me out of my shell.

Noelle Tarr:
I feel bad. I don't want to be like pushing you and draining you even more.

Melanie Avalon:
No, no, no, no, because I think I've reframed it. I was seeing it as a drain. Like I was like, I can't do this. That will just completely wreck me. Like having to like do that. But now that I started to doing it, I've actually found it to be such a supportive community and I'm actually very grateful for it and I'm started to realize, okay, like there can be ... It doesn't have to be draining.

Melanie Avalon:
So it is constantly a balance. I will say one thing that is serving me really well, and I've always been the intense prepper and controller and like ... So with prepping things for like episodes, I feel like I need to be prepping 100% all the time and like stressing about it and like up until the day that it airs. But now, the thing is, I have so many things I have to prep for and so many episodes and having to read like five books at one time that I can't afford to actually stress about something till it's happening in a way.

Melanie Avalon:
So in a way, I'm super grateful for that. So now it's like I try not to even stress about things unless they're happening now. And I'm actually super grateful. Like the other day, for example, one of my worst scenarios that I was anticipating actually came true. I've always been like, "What if I forget that I have an interview?" Like what if it falls through my calendar somewhere? That happened the other day with like a major, major author, the email and they were like, I'm here. And I'm like, ah. And I was like not at my computer's not at home. 

Melanie Avalon:
I'm so glad that happened because now that that's happened, I was like, okay, I dealt with that, it happened. So clearly if things go wrong, I can deal. So I think it's about like reframing and knowing that there's no point in stressing about things that haven't happened yet. So just focusing on what needs to be done. It's like they say, in what? Lord of the Rings, all you can do is decide. I don't even know what the quote is. Something about you can only do, like decide to do with the time that's given to you. And I think that's what I'm working towards, is okay, at this moment, what is the situation and what can I do with it? Rather than stressing about a future that may or may not materialize or mourning a past that's the past. It's not now.

Melanie Avalon:
Sorry, that was so long. I don't even know what you asked me.

Noelle Tarr:
I think it was great. It was great.

Melanie Avalon:
Because what about for you for like with everything you're doing with the podcasting, the family, finding that line between stressing and planning and versus just doing.

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah. No, I mean, everything you said ... I'm obviously not an introvert, but I have had to radically let go of anything that's not absolutely necessary and ask for help. I'm not a great person at asking for help and I've had to really put myself out there and rely on other people, which again, is not very easy for somebody who wants control and has anxieties and has worry. I am a worrier, I have anxiety. And just like you said, now that I have so much going on, it's been very freeing for me to realize like I don't have time to stress about it, but it's also been a great exercise and you didn't stress about it and it still went okay.

Melanie Avalon:
Yes, exactly.

Noelle Tarr:
So that's actually been very helpful for me because it's ... You try to hack yourself out of worrying and it's very hard. It's very hard to give up fear and worry and anxiety and to process things in a different way. And I've come to a place now where I am very okay with ... I'm becoming okay with the unexpected and understanding that I will be capable of handling it if the unexpected happens. So it's pretty much motherhood.

Noelle Tarr:
I have a lot of health anxiety too. Like I'm very scared of what complications I may have to certain diseases or sicknesses or my pain or my kid. Like what if my kids get sick? And then I end up having to take them in the ER. And yeah, so it's like all those things and I'm like, you know what? If my kid, something happens to her, like I will be the best person possible to take care of her and I have to know that like I will be able to show up. 

Noelle Tarr:
I can't worry about things that haven't happened. I can only understand that I will be able to manage those when they happen, so.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, they say that that's actually one of the key, or I guess differences in the way stress manifests in our body. Like basically, your perspective of, do you feel like you have the resources to handle a stress?

Melanie Avalon:
So some people feel like ... And this is the way I used to be and I'm working towards being again, is some people feel like, okay, whatever happens, they can deal with it. So they have the physical and mental resources. Then some people feel like they don't feel like they might have the capability to deal with something. In both situations, the thing hasn't happened yet in theory, but feeling capable and feeling resilient breeds capability and resilience and feeling in fear of what might happen just can break down your body more. So yeah. One of my goals towards 2020 is just working on feeling capable for anything and also just the beauty of ... I feel like the longest lived people, the centenarians, they ask them what their secret is to long life and it's always like, a) they follow completely different diets. They'll be like, "I ate a pound of chocolate." "I smoked every single day." Or it's like laughter, it's like joy. It's social connections. It's not fear. I don't think there are many fearful super centenarians.

Noelle Tarr:
No, you're so right. I hate to do this, but we got to wrap it up, girl. We've been talking to very long time. Would you like to ... We could probably talk for another hour. Have we even talked about anything helpful? I'm sorry folks, if you were just like, what just happened? This has just been a ... Like you have listened to a conversation with Melanie and Noelle today, which I think is all good stuff. I'm just being funny. But anyway, maybe not so funny.

Noelle Tarr:
I'm not as funny as I think I am. Sometimes I think I'm funnier than I actually am. I don't know if that happens to you, Melanie. See, I'm laughing. My husband jokes me. He's like, there you go, laughing at your own self again. I'm like, well, I thought it was kind of funny.

Melanie Avalon:
I thought it was funny. I laugh a lot. Noelle and I typically talk ... We typically talk through an app that lets you talk. Wait, wait, it's called Voxer? I'll put a link to it and show notes. It's funny though, the funny thing ... No, how many times have we said funny? The funny thing about that when you talk in like soundbites back and forth is I feel like I need to tell you, I'll be like, I thought it was funny when you said so that you know that when you talked I was laughing. That's our social media world.

Noelle Tarr:
I know. I do that too. I'm like, "Oh my gosh. I was laughing so hard when you said ..."

Melanie Avalon:
I know.

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah. Do you want to wrap it up with like ... I just read this down here and it says, I like this question and I'd actually like to hear about it from you and then I can answer it and then we can, sayonara. But it says, "What are the top three things that you did for your health that have changed your life?"

Noelle Tarr:
That might be a very big question but I think it might be something we can end on.

Melanie Avalon:
Okay. The first one, I don't know if this is like two things or one thing. Honestly, and this sounds crazy after all this, but the intermittent fasting and realizing the effect that food has on my body, hands down, and that's actually how I conclude my book, which I originally self-published What When Wine, but I did sign with a traditional publisher and release in stores and that was one of the things I concluded with in the book, was that despite any changes in how is reacting to food or dietary principles or whatever, I have realized that what we eat does affect our body and does affect me.

Melanie Avalon:
And I think just being okay with and accepting and being grateful for knowing that certain foods in my body affect me certain ways, maybe eaten at certain times affect me certain ways, and I don't really know what that means and the implications, but being okay with that and just understanding that that is a part of the picture.

Melanie Avalon:
So that would be one.

Noelle Tarr:
Okay. Yeah, I like that. I think probably the number one thing for me was shifting my mindset away from like, how can I manipulate my body and manipulate my mindset? How can I hack my brain into losing weight and to being obsessed about my weight and shifting it to like, why am I doing this? Why do I care so much? Who am I doing this for? When I asked myself, "Who am I doing this for?" That was a huge moment for me. It was what really changed everything, because my entire life I felt like I had been making choices for myself based on what I thought I should be doing based on what other people said I should be doing. And I was trying to impress these people who I didn't actually care about.

Noelle Tarr:
I was really trying to be this person with six pack abs and that I wanted to be that girl who ran a lot and was lean. And I was like, I'm sorry. Wait, who am I doing this for? Because I'm really unhappy and I actually don't care about that. And so when I asked that question and shifted my mindset to like, I'm going to stop doing things that I think I "should be doing" and do the things that are right for me and my body, whether that means I lose weight or not. I guess, taking weight loss out of the picture in the pursuit of health, that would be number one. Sorry. We can really talk, can't we, Melanie?

Melanie Avalon:
I know, I know. Two, So with personal health issues that I've had, GI issues, mercury toxicity, a diagnosis of a certain disease which may or may not be real, other things. This is a complicated answer. Realizing that, a) I can test and look for things that are wrong and I can take measures and I can try to address that and it can have effects, but in the end ... And maybe that's the reason, honestly, the reason I have this whole biohacking podcast is because it's I'm on this relentless journey to figure out what does and does not work.

Melanie Avalon:
But I think when it comes to health, realizing that maybe the physical aspect of it isn't where the answer necessarily lies and maybe it is more about the mindset and the spirit rather than the physical. And that honestly, we don't know anything. And I'll tell this really, really quickly. This is kind of ... But this has haunted me so much. I think it's stuck with me, because when it comes to physical health issues, you might experience ... Or not even health issues, anything physical in your body. We experience something and then we think it happened because of something else. So like I have a headache, it's because I ate this. Or I feel anxious, it's because I did this, I did this. It's because I did this.

Melanie Avalon:
My mind was blown, blown, blown, blown, blown, blown, when I read this study, they did this study on people and so our left brain is the part of our brain ... Sorry, this is long, but this is probably one of the most revolutionary things for me. The left part of our brain is the brain that is language, it makes stories, it makes meaning of the world. The right part of our brain is more like motor skills, like our evolutionary, like animalistic part of our brain.

Melanie Avalon:
When they do studies where they make it so that only part of the brain, and those correlate to your eyes. So when they do studies where only part of a person's brain can see one thing and only another part of their brain can see the other. So the left brain has information about a situation and the right brain has information about the situation. And then when they ask the participants questions for why they do things that they're doing, and I'll put a link to this in the show notes so you can get the actual, like what they tested. Basically, the left part of our brain will make up stories and memories to explain what it sees regardless of if any of that is true.

Melanie Avalon:
So when they do these studies, they might ask them, "Why did you pick up this card?" And the person will be like, "I did it because of ..." And then they will remember these things that happened that did not happen. And it's all because our language part of our brain tries to make stories and tries to make sense of the world around us. And I think you can apply that to any health experience that you may be experiencing or anything physical. You may have this whole story in your head about why things are happening or what you can do or what means what, when honestly, we don't know anything. Your brain could literally be making up things to make you feel better, which we can be grateful for our brain, it's trying to take care of us, but I think that was one of the biggest shifts I had as far as health stuff goes because I realized I don't know the answer.

Melanie Avalon:
I can research, I can try to do the things that are going to best suit me at any one time and that's my mission with my podcast. But in the end, I don't know and that's okay and that's very freeing for me.

Noelle Tarr:
My number two is going to be the ... It is very complicated, but it's most like revolutionary health things are not simple. However, my next one is, number two is very simple. I stopped running, I stopped running. That's it. End of story. And of course, there were a lot of things in that. But yeah, when I stopped running, best thing I ever did from a health.

Melanie Avalon:
I was never a runner. You'd have to like pay me to be a runner.

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah.

Melanie Avalon:
Do you know your third one?

Noelle Tarr:
Okay, so number one, stop pursuing weight loss and do what was right for me. Number two, stop running. Number three would probably have to be ... I don't know. I have a couple of things that were pretty revolutionary, but-

Melanie Avalon:
I think I know my third one, so.

Noelle Tarr:
Okay, why don't you go and I'll decide. 

Melanie Avalon:
I think, and it's something I'm working on, but the importance of social connection. Irony aside of the social media conversation, but the importance of friends and laughter. I don't think there's anything more ... Start crying. I remember when Noelle and I were talking about this, I was like, "Noelle, this might just be me crying for two hours." I think the importance of friends, family and laughter far outweighs almost anything else. 

Melanie Avalon:
So my three were, one was the intermittent fasting and the whole foods choices, two, realizing that our brain makes stories about our health situation that may or may not be true and that's okay and we don't have to stress about it, and three, social connection and laughter.

Noelle Tarr:
I think my number three is treating my mental health as important as my physical health. Once I realized I was making sacrifices to my mental health in order to "pursue physical health," I was like, what am I doing here? So obviously, I think most people have picked up on I have an anxious brain. I struggled with postpartum anxiety.

Noelle Tarr:
Once I went through that experience and I realized like it's not worth ... Like I am a personal trainer, I have a platform built on fitness, but guess what? I haven't worked out in, oh I don't know, a year and a half. I've been doing physical therapy and stuff like that, but I let go of that because I knew I needed to prioritize my mental health and sleep and not adding more stress to my life. And I wouldn't have been able to do that maybe seven years ago, seven plus years ago, I would have put my mental health through the ringer in order to like force myself to get up and work out and do the things and I would not be sleeping. I'd set my alarm early and I'd drag myself out of bed, and now I just radically pursue supporting my mental health, making sure that I'm getting enough sleep and letting myself check out if I need to, as opposed to always like keeping my brain spinning and thinking and worrying and pushing and trying to create this like perfect health environment. 

Noelle Tarr:
Those are mine. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah, I love it. I do ask every single guest on this podcast the same question, so if I don't ask it to you, that'll be a problem. That's the last question. Can I ask you?

Noelle Tarr:
Okay. What's the question. Yes.

Melanie Avalon:
So it's just because I've started to realize how important mindset is in everything. What is something that you're grateful for?

Noelle Tarr:
Man, I don't want to be super cheesy, but I do. I'm grateful for my husband. It's been a very hard year and I talked to my listeners in a recent episode of the podcast and told them just how much he has sacrificed for me to take care of me. It's just beyond me that he loves me this much and is willing to just sacrifice all of his happiness in order to make sure that I'm happy and taken care of. And he's been a great father and it's just really nice to be able to have somebody to lean on. 

Noelle Tarr:
I have wonderful family and all that kind of stuff, but he has gone above and beyond to take care of me. He's downstairs like entertaining my hungry child right now. He put ... He does all those wonderful fatherly things, but he's really gone above and beyond to like take care of me physically, mentally and emotionally.

Noelle Tarr:
And sometimes, I don't know where I'd be if I ... I can go to a very dark place if I think about having to process everything that I've had to process in the last year without him. So I think anybody who struggles with mental health, whether it's depression or anxiety or you're a worrier, it's so important to have other people in your camp with you and to be able to talk to and express those things to other people and to have people like a support system, a foundation that you can fall on when you do trip and fall and you can't get back up.

Noelle Tarr:
So I'm very grateful for him.

Melanie Avalon:
I love it so much. Well, this has been ... And now I'm going into the way I always in the podcast because then I'm always like, this has been absolutely wonderful and I am super grateful for you Noelle, but I really am, like so much.

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah, I'm grateful for you too. I'm grateful that we were able to talk for an hour and a half. I appreciate all of you who are still here listening to us. Obviously, listen to Melanie's Biohacking ... The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast and I'd love for you to listen to also Well-fed Women.

Melanie Avalon:
Oh please guys, listen to Well-fed Women. It's like my happy place. Did you know? I actually, I just listen to it at night when I'm like preparing my food and it's like my me time and I'm not engaging in other like social media and like work. That's really cool because then I just feel like I'm with friends. And now that I like know you, I really actually feel like I'm with friends. I feel like I could be like talking with Noelle.

Noelle Tarr:
Yeah, that really means the world to me because that's honestly like what I want. I want people to feel that way. I appreciate that. I have those podcasts that are that for me and so I love to be able to like support you in that way. Anyway, this has been great. I appreciate you coming on and I just appreciate you being here. Thank you everybody for listening. Obviously, check the show notes on our respected websites, and when you're listening to this episode, you'll see all of the show notes and everything will be there.

Noelle Tarr:
And maybe we'll do this again, Melanie. If people liked it, we'll do it again, if you like us.

Melanie Avalon:
I know. If you enjoyed, let us know what you think and let us know if there are other topics you'd like us to touch on. Because I do think there's a lot more we could ... Because we didn't even talk about like podcasting and stuff like that, which was something we were contemplating if people want to know about the ins and outs of that whole business.

Noelle Tarr:
Right. So much. Okay, so where can people find more about you? Can you just throw that out there?

Melanie Avalon:
So melanieavalon.com, it's my website, or ifpodcast.com for the other podcast. You can listen to the Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. It's on all platforms as well as the Intermittent Fasting Podcast. I'm on Instagram @melanieavalon. And please join my Facebook group. It's Paleo OMAD Biohackers: intermittent fasting plus real foods plus life. That's where we just kind of talk about all the things, biohacking. You can talk about anything you want there.

Melanie Avalon:
So, yeah. And how about for you, Nel? How no ... Nel. Noelle, how can listeners better follow you?

Noelle Tarr:
My website is coconutsandkettlebells.com. Same Instagram @coconutsandkettlebells. The book is called, wait for it, Coconuts and Kettlebells. And I have a workout program called Strong From Home, that's connected to my website. And I have a Facebook group now, thanks to Melanie, for the push on that one. It's called the Well-Fed Women Holistic Health Community on Facebook. It's been so fun to interact with everybody and yeah, we are there.

Noelle Tarr:
So thanks Melanie.

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. Just going to say, it's so ironic, the whole social media conversation and then I'm probably on Instagram more now because of you and you're on Facebook more now because of me.

Noelle Tarr:
We're doing it in an intentional way, Melanie.

Melanie Avalon:
All right, bye Noelle. Talk to you later.

Noelle Tarr:
All right, thanks Melanie.

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