I am Marla. A woman. A mother. A friend. A sister. A wife. A teacher.
A former body and food obsess-er.
I am a present time lover of LOVE and LIFE!
Ever since I can remember, I have had an issue with my body. I was always concerned with what I looked like and did many things to control my weight: over-exercising, under eating, throwing up, cleansing, and restricting certain ‘bad’ foods. I ‘tried’ the myriad of choices that a desperate woman has. Nothing I did ever helped my disgust and body shame. I would lament, cry, and ultimately sooth myself with food. I was on a cyclical pattern of restricting, overeating, shaming, and repeat.
I remember a particularly miserable day. It was a challenging time in my life, my boyfriend had just left me and my career was nowhere to be found. I was at the gym. I got on the scale to find that I was the thinnest I had ever been; I was shocked! I was so unhappy despite having reached my ideal weight. It was on that day that my illusion was shattered: being thin DID NOT equal being happy!
I always thought that once I got this ‘food’ thing figured out and I hit that magic number on the scale that my life would be in order, SO NOT TRUE!!!!
During my long road to recovery I have received support in many forms: therapy, Over-eaters Anonymous, family and friends, Positive Thinking Techniques, Reiki, Tantra, self-help books. All of these techniques were helpful however I approached everything backwards. My intention was to look better so that I would feel better. I had it completely switched around and NOTHING got me there.
It was when I FINALLY SURRENDERED that I actually started looking and feeling better. This surrender came as a gift during my pregnancy. My relationship with my body and food changed drastically when I realized I was responsible for my baby’s health and well-being. I began to nourish and care for myself. I listened to my body’s cues for hunger, sleep, and rest and didn’t override it with my own will for weight control. After the pregnancy, my new relationship to my body and food continued. I listened, loved, and cared for myself from a loving place. I love my body more than I ever have and I believe it shows.
My journey has been a long one that I honestly believed would never end. You don’t have to take the long road like I did (or become pregnant). I promise you that you can stop self-hatred actions and change your life. My struggles left me feeling so alone. I didn’t realize how many women struggled just like me. I have found that it doesn't matter the shape or size of a woman, many of us share this disgust for our bodies. Did you know that 4 in 5 women are dissatisfied with their appearance?
There is a way to get from ‘trying’ to love yourself to ACTUALLY LOVING YOURSELF and the way you look. I will hold your hand and pull you out of the cyclical patterns of dieting, emotional eating, body obsession, and binge eating. There is another way of living. I know it because I’m FINALLY living it! You can too! I will teach you how to stop your obsession and create a life that you have always wanted.
FUN FACTS about me!
I am from Pittsburgh, which automatically makes me a Steelers fan.
I am mother of Aspen; wife of OLAF; sister to Jill and Suzanne; daughter of Bob and Sonie; and aunt to Lilah, Leah, Grace, and Kiki.
I love to sing and shake my booty.
I went to Kent State University for Musical Theatre and performed in Hair the Musical.
I played Kanga in a touring Children’s Theatre.
I have traveled to India, Ireland, Thailand, Bali, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Sweden, and to 47 of the 50 states.
I have attuned hundreds of people to become Reiki Practitioners.
Do you love your body?
As creator of Love Your Body Love Yourself, Marla Mervis-Hartmann assists women in finding a “YES!” to that question.
After years of struggling with her own dysfunctional body-relationship Marla has transformed her experiences into services to help women discover honor and appreciation for their bodies.
Along side being a Reiki Master and Teacher, Marla has followed her passion for women’s health down many paths of study including women’s sexual wellness; postpartum care; Restore Your Core educator training; Tantra teacher certification; Yoga teacher training, and massage therapy. This collected body of knowledge shines through in her offerings of Reiki to pregnant and postpartum mothers; teaching Mama Movement classes; and Love Your Body Love Yourself. In all of her work, Marla is devoted to empowering women to feel good about themselves and to live the life they desire.
Marla is a graduate of Kent State University and was the leading body image expert at Journey Malibu, a Drug/Alcohol rehabilitation center. As a professional speaker Marla has been featured at TEDx Salinas. Her on camera career has also led to acting and hosting engagements including the holistic healing talk shows “Pathways to Health” and “Voice America’s Radio Show: Live! Love! Thrive!” and her own program, “Transformational Travel.” She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son where she works full-time as a professional coach, speaker, facilitator and Living Light Reiki Master and Teacher.
For Links to Marla's Public Speaking Engagements please see the: Media Page
Interested in Working with Marla: Click Here