What’s The Fit Flamingo? My Story + How I Healed Cystic Acne & Gut Issues Through Self-Love

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Hey friend! Welcome to The Fit Flamingo. I’m Madison Deaton, your new fitness coach & wellness obsessed BFF here to help you love your body and discover food freedom.

In my business, The Fit Flamingo, I work 1-on-1 with women to help them transform from the inside out. We focus on the inside first, getting to the root of why we think and feel the way we do about our bodies. Usually there are layers of trauma, hurt, and shame greatly impacting the way we feel and how we show up in the world. So you meeting your goals and living out your dreams isn’t just about being more discipled. It’s about deep inner healing. It’s about putting tools in place that can help you feel seen and safe, even on your worst days.

Why We Focus on The Inside First

When we focus on the inside first, suddenly movement becomes less about weight loss and body image and more about self-expression, releasing emotions, and healing pain points throughout the body.

Self-love isn’t just about face masks and bubble baths (although that is a fun part of self-love!). But it’s also a way to check-in with ourselves and nurture our souls on a much deeper level.

And nutrition? It gets to be about more than just dieting and “eating clean” for the sake of eating clean. It’s an opportunity to nourish our bodies through food and habits that energize and empower us. I mean, how INCREDIBLE it that!!?

Everything we do at The Fit Flamingo will help you build upon the foundation that you are already enough. You don’t have to earn your worthiness or be perfect all the time. You being you is enough.

So what do you say? Are you ready to build yourself up, champion the women in your life, discover food freedom, believe you’re enough, and learn how to love your body?

If you’re saying HECK YES right now then you, my friend, are in the right place.

My Story

I’m a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and Kinesiology graduate from the University of Texas at Austin but at the end of the day, the thing I love being most is a friend. I’m drawn to deep conversations and authentic relationships and in our times together, I just want to be that friend who sees the best in you and meets you where you’re at. I know how lonely it can feel to make changes on your own. So I’ll be here to cheer you on and reflect your own light back to you.

Welcome to The Fit Flamingo!

I started my business as a brick and mortar fitness studio for women. I converted a 40-foot shipping container into an inclusive space for self-love workshops, female-centric group classes, and empowering personal training sessions.

So many of us hate working out in gyms. We feel self conscious, overwhelmed by all the mirrors, and unsure of what to do.

That’s where The Fit Flamingo comes in.

As a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, I’m obsessed with the magic of movement. Instead of approaching movement with the goal of wight loss in mind, I use movement as a tool to help my clients get out of pain, feel safe again in their body, and tap into their own strength.

Oftentimes, weight loss happens naturally just by learning how to nourish your body with movement, nutrition, and self-love practices.

Pivoting My Business Online

After a year of training and working with women in person, I transitioned my business fully online when the pandemic hit. Now I work 100% virtually!

With the launch of my new podcast, I hope to connect with you on a deeper level and share these life-changing tools that will help you love your body and see yourself from a kinder, more loving perspective.

In the very first episode of The Fit Flamingo Podcast, I share the story behind my business, The Fit Flamingo.

I share how my struggles guided me to a deeper healing that now, looking back I am so grateful for. These struggles taught me lessons that help me everyday in my business.

Also, I share how I healed my painful, cystic acne and gut issues naturally by leaning into self-love and believing I am enough.

Then last but not least, I wrap up the episode by giving you a big ole pep talk. It goes a little something like this: You are enough. And you have everything you need to live this life the way you dream of living it.

Ready to dive in?

My Relationship with Food

So much of my story is connected to how I’ve healed my relationship with food. I’ve had to learn how to be on my own team and love myself with food (and not use food as a form of punishment, judgement, or self-sabotage).

Instead of seeing food as “good vs bad,” I learned to listen to my body, fuel it with real, whole foods, and nurture my body with loving, healing thoughts.

In college, I bottled up so much sadness, grief, and depression. In the midst of it all, my skin started breaking out really bad and I was developing gut issues (SIBO). So I went on a diet to try and eliminate any foods that could be causing the acne and SIBO.

I went sugar free, dairy free, soy free, and gluten free and even cut out a handful of certain fruits & veggies thinking this would be the thing to help me heal. I believed in it so much that I didn’t “cheat” for three whole years (total Enneagram 1 right here!). And you know how I felt? Freaking miserable!!

The more I dieted, the more I hated myself and the worse I felt in my body. It was restrictive, overwhelming, and left me so afraid of and obsessed with food (I was developing orthorexia).

Every time I ate, I had intense stomach pains and some days it got so bad that I would rather feel hungry than eat and be in pain.

It’s Not Just About What You Eat

At the time, I was waking up everyday at 4:15 am to teach group fitness classes before and in between my college classes. I was stressed out, sleeping only 4 hours a day, and feeling like I was never enough.

And while food does play a role when it comes to skin issues, it’s not the only thing that impacts it. In my pursuit of the “perfect diet,” I failed to prioritize sleep, stress, my mindset, and self-love.

So one day I quit the diet altogether and decided to shift gears and focus first on my mindset, sleep, stress, and self-love.

Instead of focusing on what I ate, I tuned into how I was eating. I slowed down to breathe deep and really taste my food. I stopped seeing food as punishment/reward and started thinking about how I could lovingly fuel my body.

And little by little, my skin cleared and my gut pain went away. Here’s what I did to love myself through the tough days:

3 Things to Do to Improve Your Self-Love:

I went from hating the way I looked to healing my painful, cystic acne and gut issues naturally by leaning into self-love and believing I am enough.

01 | Mirror Talk

What’s the first thought you think about yourself when you look in the mirror? So often we look in the mirror and only judge and criticize ourselves.

But what if you lifted yourself up every time you saw your own reflection staring back at you?

Feel Good Challenge: Every time you look in the mirror, give yourself a compliment. What do you love about who you are? What do you love about your character? Use this as an opportunity to pour into yourself with love.

If you’re having a hard time finding something nice to say about yourself, think about the kind things people have said about you.

It’s not about “fake it till you make it.” Instead, we face it till we make it!

You can decide to love yourself long before you lose the weight, overcome the obstacle, heal the trauma, or have clear skin. You can love yourself today. Because who you are today is worthy of love.

The more you practice mirror talk, the easier it will feel to love who you are.

02 | Let your challenges remind you to love up on other people

If you feel insecure, lonely, or overwhelmed, chances are someone else in your life is feeling that way too.

I think it’s a lie to believe we’re struggling all on our own. Or that no one else can relate to what we’re going through.

Rather than doing it all on your own, honor what you’re going through by sharing it with someone you trust. It will help you connect deeper with others as vulnerability breeds vulnerability (we love you Brené Brown!!).

Even if someone can’t directly relate to your specific struggles, know that you’re not alone. We may all go through different challenges in life. But we all go through them. And it’s nice to have a friend to move through them with.

Feel Good Challenge: Next time you feel trapped in your own struggle, reach out to a safe, trusted friend. Share your heart with them. Ask them if they’ve ever experienced something similar. Share what you’re learning in life. Ask what they’re learning. Ask how you can be a friend to them in this season of life. Cheer them on. Lift them up. And express a way they could be there for you, too.

It’s so healing to realize we’re not as alone as we think we are.

Your struggles will connect you to other people in the most profound ways!

03 | HAVE FUN. Pursue Joy.

When you pursue joy, radiant health will find you!!!

Instead of micromanaging every outcome, you can trust your body to guide you and lead you towards healing. You don’t have to overthink it anymore!!! You get to be guided!

Friend, your body already knows what you need. You were born with intuition! Sometimes it just takes a little unlearning and relearning to remember how to access that part of you again.

Feel Good Challenge: Each day ask yourself, “how can I pursue JOY today? What foods feel like an expression of joy for my body? What can I create today to feel more joy as I move through my to do list?”

You are the creator of your life. If you can’t find joy, create it.

You Are Enough Pep Talk

You are already enough. Even with acne. Even with health issues. Even with chronic pain. Even at the weight you weigh. You are enough.

Your enough-ness doesn’t come from your relationship status, what you do or don’t do, or what you look like.

You are inherently worthy simply because you are you.

And you have everything you need to live out the life you dream of living.

You have everything you need to be the woman you dream of being. (She is ALREADY YOU!!!).

Dear friend, it’s time to stop playing small. You don’t have to compare yourself to other women anymore.

Instead, let’s create space for each other to shine and be all that we are because when you shine, you give other women permission to shine. If you let yourself feel good, you give other women permission to feel good.

When you love who you are, you give other women permission to love who they are!

You are enough.

I’m sending you so much love & cheering you on so big.

I’m in your corner!!

With love,
Madison | The Fit Flamingo

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