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Melissa Hartwig Urban

‪@Whole30 headmistress, NY Times best-selling author, SLC local | #yearofstrongandbendy Converse books #church burgers wearing last night’s eye makeup

MELISSA HARTWIG URBAN • This shift—the step that will officially close this particular life chapter—has been a long time coming. It's no small feat professionally to change your name when it's plastered all over seven best-selling books and countless pieces of media. The fact that I'm doing it anyway speaks to how important this is to my growth. • Eventually, I'll transition back to just my birth name, Melissa Urban. For a while, to get people used to the transition, I'll be Melissa Hartwig Urban. Yeah, it's a mouthful, so feel free to abbreviate as MHU... but for those of you ready and willing to adopt me as plain-old-Urban now, all the prayer hands and heart-eye emojis for you. • [Image: me, a dark-haired woman with long, curled hair and bangs perpetually hanging over one eye, looks directly into the camera. The red rocks of southern Utah are blurred softly in the distance behind me. I have a small smile on my face. It feels like defiance.] • #justmelissa #reclamation 📷: my present and future


Today I went to #church, and it felt like coming home. • 6-ish miles up Mill D North (Big Cottonwood Canyon) to Dog Lake, with many, many detours to catch the light. • [Image: me, a tall, dark-haired woman, wearing a goldenrod jacket, grey tights, tall stripey socks, and hiking boots. I’m sporting a grey backpack with snowshoes peeking out of the top. I’m walking away from the camera on a snowy, tree-lined mountain trail; a light dusting of snow from the trees falls on me. I am walking directly into the sun, and though the temps are below freezing, no part of me is cold.] • #church #melissahikes #melissahikesutah #bigcottonwoodcanyon #doglake


Things I love: fun coffee mugs and @foursigmatic Mushroom Cacao. Here’s an FAQ: • It’s NOT part of their @whole30approved collection, because 2g added sugar. Save for your #foodfreedom. (But visit for their #Whole30 collection; link in profile.) • Yes, it tastes like delicious hot cocoa (not hot mushrooms). And it’s not overly sweet because that’s gross. • Some people on my team say it makes them legit sleepy, but I just notice a little extra chill. 👌 • Mug from @thelovebombco, a present from @stephgreunke ❤️ • #NotSponsored; I just drank one every day during our offsite and now am legit hooked. • [Image: my hand, holding a white coffee mug that says “You’re Like Super Pretty” and a packet of Four Sigmatic Mushroom Cacao. The small black mark on my hand is a temporary tattoo from @lumenkind.] • #whole30FFF #foursigmatic #mushrooms


When I asked you a few months ago which topics I should cover in my new podcast (coming just after the #JanuaryWhole30), overwhelmingly you said, "FOOD FREEDOM." I feel you... doing the Whole30 for 30 days, with its strict black-and-white rules and oodles of daily support, is a heck of a lot easier than navigating your own food freedom choices for the rest of your life. • But Food Freedom is a BIG subject. (So big, I wrote a whole BOOK about it!) So help ME help YOU. What topics, specifically, could I cover in a 30-40 minute podcast that would give you the extra clarity, understanding, or motivation you need to move even deeper into your food freedom? • The more specific the better; "Socializing and food freedom" could be days worth of discussions from a variety of angles, but "Saying no to foods I know don't make me healthier in social situations" is something I can REALLY break down for you. Ready set go... and podcast details (including our title and theme!) coming soon. XO • [Image: me, a dark-haired woman, sitting cross-legged on a concrete patio. My feet are bare and I'm wearing jeans and a white tank top. The shot is taken selfie-style from above, so all you see is the ends of my hair, my legs, and feet. I'm holding a book titled, "Food Freedom Forever."] • Food Freedom Forever: (or click the link in my profile, then click this photo) • #whole30fff #foodfreedomforever #melissahartwigpodcasts


Walking my feet up to my hands while keeping my palms glued to the floor is a weird-sounding skill that I’ve been working on for like a year. I had the flexibility, but the core strength took a while to build... but it was worth it, because it really translates! • In this variation, taught by @mydharma_yoga, you move from 3-leg to knee-to-chest to walking forward one foot length at a time, without shifting forward and dumping weight into hands. (So... leg up, bring the knee in TIGHT to chest, use your core to LIFT, and plant your heel in front of your other toe; repeat other side.) 🙋🏻‍♀️ if you are trying this in your living room right now. • Swipe -> for a beginner option that still emphasizes core without the major hamstring flexibility demands; bend knees as much as needed but still focus on lifting from the CORE. • [Image: In the first slide: me, a tall woman in grey tights and a light pink sports bra, performing a series of movements (as described above) in an empty fitness studio. On the second slide, I’m on green AstroTurf performing a scaled series of the same movement; walking my feet forward to between my hands from down dog position, keeping my knees comfortably bent.] • #yearofstrongandbendy #yogaeverydamnday #core #handstandprep


I have been waiting to put @daniellewalker on my crotch and AT LAST, THE DAY IS HERE! Congratulations to my lovely friend on the birth of your new book-baby; I have so many pages tabbed already and YES, one of them is Cowboy Cookies. Can’t wait to celebrate with you in person in San Diego in January! 🎉🎈😘 • Eat What You Love, from Danielle Walker: (click the Amazon affiliate link in my profile). • [Image description entered into Alt Text] • #eatwhatyoulovebook #crotchshot #melissahartwigreads


The first time I got clean (from drugs), I went a year, and then relapsed. Seems unimaginable; I had so much time! Why backslide after working so hard for so many days? If you looked at what I was doing during that year, though, it would make more sense. Because all I did was do The Thing. • I stopped using drugs... but that was it. I didn't pursue a mindset shift, and I didn't shore up my new healthy lifestyle with other healthy habits. I didn't change my friend group, adjust my routines, or pursue emotional growth. I was the exact same Melissa... subtract the drugs. And while that's certainly a necessary first step... just doing The Thing is never going to be enough. Not if you want to actually change your life. • The next time I got clean, it stuck, because I did WAY more than just subtract the drugs. I adopted a growth mindset, establishing that I was (now) a healthy person with healthy habits. And I spent my days seeking thoughts I could have and actions I could do to reinforce that mindset. I changed EVERYTHING--my friends, my routines, the music I listened to, the food I ate, the clothes I wore, how I spent my free time. I actively shored up my recovery and created buffers between me and old habits by doing more than just The Thing... and I haven't stopped since. • This applies to any habit shift, by the way. People come to me because they're bouncing in and out of the Whole30, a fitness program, a weight loss goal, or personal growth work, and ask what they're missing. The first question I ask in response is, "Are you just doing The Thing?" THAT'S what you've been missing. It's not enough just to do The Thing. It won't ever be enough; not to get you where you really want to go. • So my question to you is, "What else COULD you be doing?" Those small actions that would reinforce your new healthy habit; the shifts that would create a buffer between you and old, unhealthy habits and patterns; the persistent redirections you could make to the thought patterns that held you back... Seek them out and do them. Do all of them. THEN you will see change. • #recovery #justmelissa #melissaexplainsrecovery


Yesterday, I voiced my support for the acquisition of @primalkitchenfoods by Kraft/Heinz. Many of you expressed excitement at what this represents. But a lot of you expressed cautious optimism, strong concern, or an outright denouncement of the "sell-out." • I understand. I really do. Because I want the same thing you want, the same thing we ALL want. • For things to change while staying exactly the same. • We want to see the @Whole30, Primal, real-food influence grow and spread. We want these healthier, sugar-free, better-for-you products more widely available. We want them cheaper, too. We want to shake up the entire industry; get them to pay attention to us, change for us, heed our demands. We want to vote with our dollars, and see the impact out there in the world. We want to TAKE OVER the world. • BUT... we want things to stay just the way they are. We want the voice of these brands to remain organic, authentic, and personal. We want our community to stay intact, pure, and connected. We want our favorite companies to stay small and scrappy, to keep bucking the system, answering to no one, doing it our way. We don't want it to change AT ALL, because our movement is the underdog, and we were in it before it was "mainstream," and isn't that something REALLY special? • Do you realize what an impossible task this is; to grow and influence and drive global change while holding onto everything that got you here in the first place? I do. Because I'm over here trying to do exactly that. • Here's the cold, hard truth: You can't have it both ways. If we want our impact to grow, THINGS WILL HAVE TO CHANGE. And I pray you're willing to extend the benefit of the doubt, your faith, and your trust in me (and in other brands you have grown to know, love, and trust) as it happens. Because I’d hope we’d have earned some goodwill by now, but also because, bottom line, we simply can't do it without you. • [Image: Me, a tall dark-haired woman, stands atop a distant tall formation of red rocks in Southern Utah.] • #melissaexplainsprimalkitchen #whole30 #changeiscoming 📷 @super_human_performance


Have you heard the news?!? Our @whole30approved partners and friends at @primalkitchenfoods were just acquired by Kraft/@Heinz! (For details, see or click the link in my profile.) • I just got off the phone with my BFF @marksissonprimal, because I wanted to say congratulations personally and hear more about his plans for the future of the brand. TL;DR: This is a HUGE step forward in bringing better food (and better health) to the world! But here's what this means for YOU, my loyal @Whole30 and Primal Kitchen devotees. • First, nothing really changes. (I know, kind of anti-climactic, right?) But that's actually GREAT news. Kraft recognizes where the consumer is headed; better-for-you products with the highest quality ingredients (like avocado oil) and no added sugar or junk. They recognize Primal Kitchen's value, and want the company and team to just keep doing what they've been doing. • That means Mark will continue to stay on as the face of the brand, guiding and steering the direction of their product line. (One thing I have his personal reassurance on: THE INTEGRITY OF THEIR INGREDIENTS WILL NOT CHANGE.) And the PK team will stay on to continue to grow the community and the brand. • Primal Kitchen has always had one simple mission, totally aligned with ours here at Whole30: Change the way the world eats. Now, they'll have access to an incredible amount of resources to accelerate the process. This is a HUGE win, guys, and I couldn't be happier or more proud of our partnership and friendship. Onward! XO • [Image: A photo of me and Mark Sisson, the handsome co-founder of Primal Kitchen Foods. This was taken at his house in Malibu, during a party to celebrate the launch of new Primal Kitchen offerings. I'm in a grey cropped sweatshirt and black yoga tights, having just finished a yoga class in his living room. He's wearing a blue shirt that really brings out the color of his eyes. I'm always really happy to see Mark because he's like my favorite.] • #whole30 #whole30approved #primalkitchen #melissaexplainsprimalkitchen


I once said I'd never emoji. We all know how that went. 💁🏻‍♀️ I also said I'd never talk about my hair, but that tutorial I shared for my headband curls is coming to Highlights soon. And I definitely said I'd never talk about my love life... but lately, that's changing too. • There will alway be some things that remain too intimate to post. But for now, it feels good to share some of the things that are making me happier than I've ever been. Like him. • [Image: two smiling people staring directly into the sunset at Snow Canyon State Park in southern Utah. He is tall and dark hair and has his hat on backwards, my hair is long again, and reddish-brown in the light. We're both smiling our faces off.] • #justmelissa #church #us


It's been 7 months since I started doing @tmacfitness #mindright meditations after my gym sessions. (See #melissaexplainstmacmindright; oldest post.) Here are some things I've learned along the way. • They call it a "practice" for a reason. Some days are easier/calmer/more impactful than others. The monkey-mind-ants-in-my-pants sessions are just as beneficial as the super-zen ones. • I sometimes struggle with the gratitude part of the meditation, especially if I'm stressed or overwhelmed. In that case, I am simply grateful for the practice itself, and that is enough. • Through this practice, I've felt much more connected to god, my spirit guides, and those I love. God often speaks to me here. My intuition is stronger, and I trust and follow it more. • I have sat cross-legged with my eyes closed in countless busy, crowded, strange gyms during my travels. As a result, I am more confident than I have ever been advocating for myself, and my own self-care. • The act of setting an intention each and every morning carries over into my whole day, consciously or subconsciously. More than that, the simple act of asking myself, "What do you need today?" means I know myself better now than I ever have--which means I can better serve me, and in turn, better serve those I care about. • But the biggest lesson? • All I have to do is show up. All I have to do is show up. All I have to do is show up. • The universe takes care of the rest. • For @tmacfitness's 4-part meditation, see (click the link in my profile, then click on this photo). I have so much love and gratitude for Todd for this gift. ❤️ • [Image: a series of images quickly flash across the screen. They're all shot from the same perspective; me, sitting cross-legged on the ground, from above, so all you can see is my lower torso, legs, and feet. My clothing and the background changes in each photo, although in most you can see my water bottle and wireless headphones. The photos are taken each morning just before I start my meditation; I'm now very good at taking pictures of my own crotch.] • #mindright #melissaexplainstmacmindright #crotchshot


About six months ago, after a bunch of you asked for scaled versions of the movements I do in my workouts, I started sharing “beginner” clips; I’d do my flow, then scale it back so you could try. Today I finally added the clips to a Highlight! (Click on my profile pic, then click the “Beginner” circle underneath my bio.) I hope these are fun for you to work into your own movement sessions; I’ll keep creating them if you’ll keep sending me clips of you doing them at home. • Here’s a beginner flow I created, using some of the prep moves I included in my highlight. Enjoy! (The advanced version of this one is coming soon.) • [image: me, a dark-haired woman in yoga tights and a sports bra, going through a yoga-ish flow in an empty fitness studio. The moves: down dog -> floating child -> plank -> lower knees to bear -> drop knees to floor in tabletop -> extend one arm and opposite leg; hold -> return to tabletop -> repeat on other side -> return to tabletop -> push up to plank -> return to down dog. Repeat x5 as a good warm-up or flow.] • #yearofstrongandbendy #beginnerhighlight #yogaflow #birddog