How Mara Schiavocampo Ended an Abusive Food Relationship

Presented by Spartan Training®

Mara Schiavocampo started her wellness journey at eight years old when her parents sent her to Weight Watchers, but it wasn’t until she was 33 that she truly found her path to health. And it all started with a food funeral.

As a successful broadcast journalist and best-selling author, you may have seen Schiavocampo on Good Morning America or Dr.Oz. When she recently sat down with Spartan founder Joe De Sena for the Spartan Up! podcast, she shared about how she cleaned up her diet, lost 90 pounds, and filled the void with healthy endeavors.

What Motivated Mara Schiavocampo to Lose 90 Pounds

“Health is relative. Seven years ago, I defined health as the absence of illness. Today, I define health very differently because I know that there’s a lot more beyond just not being sick. So was I healthy? Yes. I’ve been blessed with good health my entire life. Did I feel unconfident in front of the camera? No. I felt fine and I felt like I was reflecting the audience. But when I had my daughter I was uncomfortably heavy because I had gained all this weight during pregnancy, so that was the motivation for me. Because, then, I felt awful.”

On Her Abusive Relationship With Food

“I thought to myself, I’ve tried [losing weight] before, it hasn’t stuck. How am I going to make this really work? So I sat down and made a list of all the things that are my undoing. And then I realized the single-most-important revelation of my health journey: There are certain foods that I will never have a healthy relationship with, ever. Like any baked good: bagels, muffins, cupcakes. The foods that I could not control, the ones that controlled me. The ones that I would say I’m just going to eat one and I would eat the whole sleeve, every time. And I said to myself if you’ve been doing this every single time you’ve tried to eat one of these cookies, and it always beats you, it’s gotta go. I don’t want an abusive relationship with anything, including food.”

On the Food Funeral

“I mourned the unhealthy foods. It was a grieving process, I said goodbye. And once I got rid of those things I was pretty much left with protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. That’s been the basis of my diet for the last seven years and I lost the weight effortlessly.”

For more from Mara Schiavocampo, listen to the Spartan Up! podcast in its entirety.

This episode of Spartan Up! is brought to you by Tiger Balm Active. Trust Tiger Balm Active for proven pain relief. Get new Tiger Balm Active in Gel, Rub and convenient Spray.


0:00 Joe, Sefra, the Col & Dr. Johnny introduce Mara Schiavocampo’s  episode

1:50 Tiger Balm Active Intro

2:14 Interview begins| growing up in Somalia

3:30 Growing up overseas

5:00 Gaining perspective

7:20 Going into Broadcast Journalism

9:30 Serendipity on the job hunt

11:00 Pioneering the “backpack” model of digital journalism

12:40 Navigating to new stories

14:15 It takes a village for TV production

14:50 Tiger Balm Active break

15:55 Interview returns “more focused”

17:00 “Health is relative”

18:00 What is your undoing

18:45 Having a food funeral

20:15 Cleaning up your diet

22:00 The hard times & a food cult

23:45 Filling the time with healthy endeavors

27:14 The panel discusses the interview

30:50  Tiger Balm Active close



Producer – Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.

Hosts: Joe De Sena, Sefra Alexandra, Johnny Waite & Colonel Nye

Synopsis – Sefra Alexandra

Production Assistant - Andrea Hagarty

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