It’s that time of the year again…Family gatherings, year-end lunches, Christmas feasts and you are already dreading the imminent weight gain of the holidays. What do you notice about your habits this time of year? Does your perfectionism lead you to binge and restrict? How could your childhood experiences command your adult choices?

In today’s podcast, we are joined by Sheley Brien. Sheley talks all about how to survive the holiday season without a diet. Take a listen to learn what you gift and give yourself to be healthy and happy this holiday season.

Meet Sheley Brien

Sheley is a wife and mother with an extensive background in corporate America before transitioning to business ownership.

She is also a nationally recognized equestrian athlete, mindset expert, and personal performance coach with over 10 years of experience in the health and wellness industry.

Sheley specializes in transforming the body and mind of high-achieving women by using her proven nutrition and mindset methods which encompasses her Boss Up approach.

Connect with Sheley on the website, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

In This Podcast


  • Overcoming perfectionist restriction
  • Care for and fuel yourself
  • Couple’s dynamics through fitness and wellness
  • Sheley’s advice for prioritizing your health

Overcoming perfectionist restriction

Many people who struggle with binging and restricting, especially around food, are often perfectionists at heart, and it’s their perfectionism that pushes them to those extremes.

The one thing about a high-achiever mindset is that we are literally willing to let ourselves be abandoned so that we can win, whether it’s to win the marriage, win … as a mother, or win in our careers, and we believe we have to push ourselves aside so that we can go. (Sheley Brien)

Perfectionism loves black-and-white thinking. It wants you to commit fully to something and let everything else slide until it’s completed, and this is how you end up abandoning yourself.

It does not have to be an “either-or” situation, with anything. Use “and”, and learn how to find the gaps where you can use “and” instead of punishing yourself with “either-or”.

That mindset work was so important, I didn’t realize how horribly I was talking to myself. I didn’t realize a lot of – what was essentially holding me back – from taking care of myself, had to do with my past and my upbringing. (Veronica Cisneros)

Care for and fuel yourself

Once you dive into and observe how you were brought up; the beliefs around food, self-worth, and “health”, you can start to unpack it.

Are the beliefs you carry around certain foods passed down from what your parents believe, or your community or the society that you live in? Once you can identify them, you can separate them from yourself and make space for how you want to live your life.

“Oh, I can’t have the carbs. Oh, cut out the sugar … cut out all this stuff” … because that’s like normal diet culture telling us that. (Sheley Brien)

If you are a high-achiever, you need sustainable, good energy to keep performing. So rather than restrict yourself, ask: how do I want to feel?

You need energy, and food is your fastest form of energy. So, now that you understand nutrition from a different standpoint, you are now empowered at a restaurant to not go feast but to actually ask, “How do I want to feel? What do I want? What have I had today?” (Sheley Brien)

Couple’s dynamics through fitness and wellness

It might initially feel selfish to commit yourself, but it is necessary. Remember that this selfishness is not genuine, because you add love and respect to your marriage when you love and respect yourself as well, and that includes making promises to yourself.

We’re so used to giving that taking care of ourselves seems selfish when in reality, it’s the most selfless thing you can do because when you take care of yourself that makes you a better business owner, leader, mom and wife. You are better in every area when you actually put yourself first. (Sheley Brien)

You and your partner need to support one another on your personal journeys.

Sheley’s advice for prioritizing your health

The best thing that you can do is to:

  • Increase your water intake
  • Give yourself flexibility
  • Know that you are worth the energy and time that it takes to invest in yourself

Useful links:


Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic PodcastI’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.

So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Empowered and Unapologetic Podcast on Apple Podcasts (previously iTunes) and subscribe!