What is an ICON?
Each month we showcase an incredible woman to be our featured Amaiò ICON. This woman is someone who has style, grace, kindness, and integrity, all while inspiring us on a daily basis.
Our Icons have a certain je ne sais quoi. They carry themselves with poise, they have an effortless and distinct style, and they are more than skin-deep.
December's Featured ICON
Lisa Hayim, MS, RD. (@thewellnecessities)
Lisa (aka "LiLi") Hayim is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to wellness, fashion, and food. With that being said, we couldn’t be more excited to highlight her as our December ICON. Hayim embodies all the qualities of a positive role model for young women with the mantra “Live more. Obsess Less”.
Hayim uses her social media platform @thewellnecessities and blog to share her ultra-relatable life experiences; whether it’s her struggles with anxiety, her relationship with food, her adorable relationship with her now husband (their wedding photos gave us all the feels!), or her journey of self-discovery. Her unmatched beacon of knowledge and candid blog posts let us know over and over again we’re not alone, and that we all share the same insecurities and struggles when it comes to positive body image and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. It also doesn’t hurt that she is a Registered Dietician with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University.
LiLi is devoted to helping others through her social media and website thewellnecessities.com, her goal being “to bring joy and lightness back into your life, while giving you the tools to swim when the seas get rough”. This couldn’t seem more appropriate for the times we are living in now, whether it’s personal stresses and anxieties, office politics, or simply trying to create a work/life balance. LiLi is the friend and role model we never knew we needed, and we are so here for it. We love to see her following grow as she helps others achieve a healthier life, not only physically (with nutrition and exercise), but mentally as well.
Now that is what we call an ICON!
What inspired you to pursue a career in health and wellness?
It’s funny. I get this question a lot and the answer is kind of the opposite around. It wasn’t me that pursued this field, but rather it feels like health and wellness found me. I was very intimidated by the science classes I would have to take to become a Registered Dietitian (chemistry, anatomy and physiology, etc) and before going down this route, I decided to be a fashion major instead. I loved creating and design, but quickly learned that I had a deep passion to want to understand how food works in the body.
I eventually pursued my master’s in nutrition and exercise! If I’m being honest, I have a history of disordered eating, and therefore I was probably first drawn to this field because I wanted to “hack” my bodies system and know more than the average person so I could manipulate my body from the inside out.
What I got in return was so much more fulfilling! I learned the true meaning of health and wellness beyond “being skinny” and I now help people learn to trust honor and respect their body by understanding how food works and making empowering decisions about what to eat. Helping people slow down and eat mindfully brings joy back to the lives of my students/clients and therefore joy to me!
You seem so passionate about nutrition and having a positive relationship with food. How have your personal experiences affected your views on health and nutrition?
It’s easy to get carried away with nutrition and food choices. Many people do—I did! They take a very dogmatic approach to their food choices and invest their entire self worth in it. Food is something we had to do (we gots to eat!), and I believe we can make empowered and educated decisions without it becoming our identity.
I believe in the power of nutrition, but I also believe that obsessing and stressing is the antithesis of health and wellness and therefore we need to keep a close eye on how attached to our food decisions we are becoming. It is one thing to not eat a food because you don’t like it, or don’t like how it makes you feel, its another to not eat it because you’re fearful of what it will do to your body. It’s important to be flexible with food to foster a healthy relationship to it!
What is your favorite thing about private coaching?
That a-ha moment where they trust me enough to start trusting themselves and realize that the “control” they used to attach themselves too was the thing that’s driving them crazy and that TRUE control happens when you let go a little.
Congratulations on your recent wedding! We LOVED following along and seeing just how unique your special day was. Was it everything you imagined and more?
Thank you for following along! I loved sharing it with my audience. As the bride, it was a very different experience than I expected. First of all, I had my first real panic attack 3 am the night of the wedding. While I’m no stranger to anxiety and depressive symptoms, panic attacks with no trigger was something entirely new.
Therefore, the morning of the wedding I was in a very different spirit than I expected. I was weirdly calm—where I expected myself to be running around dancing!
The first bit of news I got (unrelated to the panic attack) was that we had to resort to plan B, an indoor wedding. I would not be getting my dream beach wedding that I invested a lot of time designing and a lot of money to implement (permitting, carpet, etc).
It was a bummer, it is a bummer-- but honestly, it’s a great reminder of how little it matters and how little we control. The actual wedding was a dream. The smile on my now husband’s face lives in my memories forever- I had surprises for him at both ceremony and reception that he will never forget! Each guest felt valued and seen, which is what I wanted, especially since it was a destination wedding.
There wasn’t a detail I overlooked and the best part was--- my guests noticed and felt it! I can honestly say that if I didn’t improve my relationship to food years ago, this day would be shadowed by thoughts of food, and obsessive body image control. The wedding felt like saying good bye to old me—perhaps that panic attack was old me’s last hoorah?
You have the yummiest looking vegan recipes on your website. Are you 100% plant-based and how do you manage to stick to a plant-based diet in your busy day to day life?
I’m not vegan, but I am plant based, meaning I eat lots of plants. My husband Is vegan and for the time being we do have a vegan home. That being said, there is no “effort” I truly love everything I eat and wake up craving fruits, veggies, and grains. I don’t think veganism is for everyone, but I think emphasis on plants is (that doesn’t mean you can’t have animal products ever, it just means you’re focusing on vibrant living food). If it was something I felt I “had to stick to” it wouldn’t work, which is why its so important to learn what works FOR YOU. Research your own experience, absorb what’s useful for your body, reject what information is useless (even if it comes from an expert!) and take what specifically works for you!
You have a crazy busy career of maintaining your social media, a blog, consulting and teaching. How do you find the time to balance it all?
I don’t! Some days I fail at all of the above, and other days it all works perfectly harmoniously together. In all honesty, I’d say my savior is the fact that I have a small team (mainly an operations manager- my best friend Amaya, who I met at Jury duty oddly enough). While people see me at the fore front, there is a magical tiny team behind me making sure it all is tied up with a bow! I also value my sleep and coffee.
What drew you to Amaiò as a brand?
The first time I saw Amaiò at Bergdorf Goodman I just knew. I knew nothing about the brand’s mission (their ethical and environmental mission sealed the deal for me) but I could tell that this was a brand that didn’t lose sleep trying to keep up with the trends.
Each peace was more timeless and elegant than the next--and spoke to me.
The fabrics were quality and I could see myself investing in a bathing suit and wearing it for the next 20 years as I transition life phases. Learning about their mission and commitment to quality and ethics (both in product and for the people making it) felt like home. I like to think I vote with my dollar and it felt good to invest with Amaiò.
You seem to stick to all natural products. Any natural skincare secrets you can share!?
I’d love if that were true—and I certainly try to be conscious about my products, but I’m not ALL non toxic. I have a few products I do love that I truly believe work.
#1. Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum- I use this stuff 1-2x per day as my first base to skin care and it makes you Glow!
#2. Natural oils. I switch off, but as someone who used to be afraid of oils I’m obsessed now!
#3. The gua sha tool- facial massage and lymphatic drainage helps the oils be absorbed in the skin, is a nice self care ritual, and also helps to depuff!
Mental health is just as important as physical health. What are some tips and tricks you use to combat anxiety and stress?
I notice where in my body I hold stress. The shoulders for me is a big one. But knowing that my shoulders react before I get a chance too helps me notice the anxiety or tension earlier and begin to consciously control what happens next. Breath work is huge (yep, just breathing long inhales and exhales regularly is helpful!). I love to move my body—even just walking helps to produce natural endorphins and helps me feel like me.
What does being an ICON mean to you?
It means I live out my values and make conscious mindful decisions that align with how I want to show up in the world.
You have so many different aspects to your career. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Any other avenues you think you’ll explore?
So much! I love public speaking and being around crowds of people. That’s my extrovert side I suppose. I have sister courses to my online course F*RK THE NOISE fundamentals coming out I’d love to write a book, maybe dabble in fashion (it would have to be the perfect product), and most of all, become a mom God Willing.
As a swimwear company, we understand the pressure women feel to look a certain way, especially in swimwear. What advice can you give women out there struggling to live a healthy lifestyle and also have positive body image?
Buy the suit that fits you NOW. Don’t buy the suit you want to fit in by the time summer or vacation comes around. By choosing something that flatters you now you are honoring yourself and making a mindful connection to the present.
Don’t be upset if the style that looked good online. on the mannequin doesn’t look good on you. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your body—it just means that’s not your ideal style.
Don’t waste time. Seriously, time is a precious commodity and giving it away marinating over body image is time stolen away from your most joyous of days and your higher purpose. You were born to do more than think about your body and how it looks.
No one is noticing like you are.
Amaiò Swim is made for women, by women. At Amaiò, it is our goal to not only help women look beautiful in our pieces, but to create a community of encouragement and support. Each piece is designed with each woman in mind. All the women of Amaiò are thought of in the design process and all of these women inspire us daily. We want every woman who wears our pieces to feel elegant and channel their inner Bardot.
We pride ourselves on positivity and constant personal growth. With this being said, our Amaiò Icons initiative was born. This initiative was created to continue the support and growth of other women alike, women who inspire us, who uplift us, and who do all of this while looking effortlessly chic.
Amaiò Icons are mothers, career women, wives and friends. She has no boundaries of who she is or where she wants to be. She is always evolving, always progressing. Her style evolves with her growth; sometimes she feels sophisticated, other times she feels playful. She has a taste for adventure, for experiencing all the world has to offer her, and of course, a taste for fashion and beauty.
Know an ICON?
Do you know an incredible woman who should be featured as our next ICON?
We're always looking for the next inspiring woman to feature. Let's continue to fix each others crowns, shall we? An Amaiò ICON can be from any walk of life and in any career field. See below for more information how to nominate someone, or even submit yourself!