Behind the gram: Happy Way Nutritionist and affirmations queen Malissa Fedele
As the resident Happy Way nutritionist Malissa Fedele knows a thing or two about self-love, self-care and confidence. Going beyond developing wickedly delicious and nutritious Happy Way recipes, Malissa has spent the better part of her career teaching women how to be a little kinder to themselves through her motivational social media page. As a big believer in affirmations and goal setting, Malissa takes a more honest and raw approach to nutrition, fitness and all the fun stuff in between. This means taking rest days when your body craves it, not allowing a cheat meal to throw you off track and putting yourself first so that you can be there for others.
We asked Malissa to share her thoughts on confidence, health, wellness and navigating the digital age.
When did you become a Happy Way Nutritionist?
I have been the Happy Way Nutritionist since November 2018 and I absolutely love my role here. I love researching and putting my knowledge into recipes which will give women more energy and will help nourish their mind, body and soul. My job is not about calorie counting and restricting one’s diet, it's really about showing women that good nutrition is attainable, can be fun and should be considered a way of life. Plus I have the perfect base and products to work with. Happy Way truly is that good!
What do you love most about your role?
I love that every day I am able to help women lead a healthy lifestyle and share with them how Happy Way can support them. I also love that I have the opportunity to share my love for food through the fun and creative recipe tutorials I make with the team.
What do you love about sharing your life on Instagram?
I love that I can share my love for food, health and wellness with a widespread and diverse community of people.
Is there a certain level of responsibility that comes with this and how do you navigate around this?
Of course, sharing health and nutrition tips comes with a level of responsibly because I need to ensure that with everything I post I also let people know that what may work for me may not work for them. Your health is something very individual and there is not one thing, one diet or one exercise or supplement that will ‘fix’ everything. I try my best to educate my followers to assist them with making the right decisions for themselves.
What is the most challenging part of being so open on a public platform?
This is something that I struggled with when I first began sharing my life on social media. However, it has taken some time but I have managed to set some boundaries with myself. Social media is a great place to connect with people all over the world and share your offering. However, creating a social media platform doesn’t mean you need to post about every single thing that happens in your life. I choose to share things that I feel will make others feel good and hopefully give them a tip or the inspiration they need to lead a healthier lifestyle. I have consciously chosen to keep the majority of my personal life private. Social Media is simply a platform to share your offering and you shouldn’t feel pressured to share every aspect of your life if you don’t want to. How you chose to use social media is completely your choice.
How do you navigate around this?
My Social media accounts are health and fitness related so before I post something I just ask myself “will this post add value to someone’s life and is it aligned with my vision or do I feel comfortable sharing this on a very public platform for everyone to see”.
How has becoming a nutritionist changed your approach to dieting and food?
It has really helped me to understand just how incredibly powerful food is and the impact different foods and nutrients have on our body. It has also helped me to understand just how different all our bodies are and the different requirements we all need to feel our best.
It has completely changed how I look at ‘dieting’. In fact, I don’t believe in dieting and I really aim to educate people on the fact that food is not a diet. It's what keeps you alive and well. It is what gives you energy to function; it is what helps your brain to think clearly and it is what makes you feel confident about yourself. I feel very passionately about educating my clients on the importance of a healthy, sustainable, long-term vibrant lifestyle that includes wholesome foods every single day. It’s a way of life.
Nutrition plays a big role in self-confidence. What advice can you give to women about their relationship with food?
The food you eat directly affects your mood, mindset, bodily functions and drives how you go about your day to day tasks. By eating foods that are full of vibrant nutrients will help you to feel your best and therefore lead to more self-confidence and a better mental state.
Eat to nourish your body and mind.
What is the one thing you wish women would stop doing when it comes to food?
Thinking that the latest diet, super-food or supplement is going to make them super dooper healthy and fix all their problems. Trust me, it won't. Your body is way too complex and unique. Women need to stop classifying food as good and bad, using food as a short-term fix for a smaller waist and counting calories rather than counting nutrients. We have come so far away from seeing food as a simple source of nourishment and created so much negative energy around it. Eat foods that are wholesome, as close to their natural form as possible and full of colours. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Don’t cut out food groups and complicate your meals. Eat simple, eat wholesome, and eat because you love your body and mind.
What is your approach to fitness?
Do what feels good for you. I don’t compare my journey to anyone else’s. Sometimes I may have weeks when I do daily F45 classes and go for walks and runs and some weeks I may not exercise at all if I’m sick or feeling flat. I don’t overdo it and don’t punish myself for having rest days.
What is the best piece of advice for women who want to embark on their own fitness journey and feel overwhelmed?
You need to remember that eating well and moving your body is a form of self-love. Your body loves you so give it back the love it deserves by nourishing yourself every day.
Just because you are making the decision to lead a healthier lifestyle this doesn’t mean you are missing out on anything. Make this a lifestyle, don’t be hard on yourself and if you get stuck or you are feeling overwhelmed seek advice from a health professional who will be able to evaluate what your body needs and can educate you and support you along the way.
When women view influencers on Instagram there is a common belief that they have it all, body confidence included. Can you share with us something you wish to be more confident about?
The biggest thing that I am working on right now is staying motivated. This doesn’t necessarily mean motivation to eat well or exercise but finding the motivation to stay on track with my personal and business goals. I struggle with being way too hard on myself and sometimes find myself setting unrealistic goals, so when I don’t achieve these goals I get down on myself and lose motivation. This constant struggle means I go back and forward a lot with my business and this can be disheartening.
What are you doing to change this?
I am working on this by really looking at my goals and breaking them down to monthly, weekly and daily tasks. Sometimes these tasks are only 10mins a day and this has helped a lot. I also love to write up checklists and keep myself accountable by having a diary.
What is the one habit you abide by to practice self-love?
If you follow me on social media, you will see that I am a huge advocate for affirmations. I say them every single morning and most evenings too. I find that these powerful phrases really help me to maintain a positive attitude and really shift my mindset. If you can do one thing for yourself when you finish reading this, it’s writing 3 things you are grateful for. It will change the course of your day, I promise you!
What is the one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
Focus on yourself. You will be able to give others more when you are your number one priority. Study hard, eat well, love yourself and do what makes YOU happy. There is absolutely no shame in taking care of your own needs in a world in which we are conditioned to put everyone else first.
What does confidence mean to you?
To be confident is knowing that I can achieve my goals and be my best because I am worthy, intelligent, happy and have a great heart. It’s being
able to confidently say those things and feel comfortable in my skin no matter what ‘distractions’ may arise in my life. That is the true meaning of confidence for me.
Can you share with us the best piece of advice you have ever received about self-acceptance and love?
“Love yourself first and then the rest will fall into place”. Simple but it has always stuck with me.
Who is an inspirational woman you look up to and why?
The inspirational women that I look up to the most are the women I choose to surround myself with every day. My mother, sister, best friends, the women I work with and my incredible clients. These women not only inspire me but they support me and motivate me every single day to be my best. I am truly grateful for the incredible women in my life.