Who I am

Who am I?

The short story is that I’m a coach, writer, teacher, and speaker dedicated to helping folks break free from body image issues and love themselves.

The long story is that I used to hate my body.

A long time ago, I would have said that “body image issues” only affected fat women or women with eating disorders—not me.

I’d always had the kind of body society says is “acceptable” for a woman (whatever the hell that means) and I felt totally “normal.”

I woke up every day, applied makeup to look presentable, put on a pushup bra, and chose an outfit that hid my flaws and highlighted my assets. Throughout the day I would always suck in my belly, move carefully so that my body didn’t jiggle, and monitor how I looked from various angles. I spent so much time and energy thinking about what other people thought and felt that I genuinely couldn’t tell what I thought and felt.

 

I felt trapped, and stuck; terrified people would notice me, and terrified people wouldn’t.

I was so embarrassed by certain body parts and fluctuations, and yet I hated getting unwanted attention from men for being “sexy.” I didn’t feel sexy, I felt numb. Like I was just pretending to be a person; like I was an actor playing the role of “me.”

The worst part of my discomfort in my own body is that I deeply craved connection, but was afraid to let people get too close. I couldn’t relax in bed, even with trusted partners. When I looked at other women I compared myself to see “how I was doing.” If she was gorgeous, I felt jealous. If she wasn’t, I felt judgmental. I was socially awkward, and deep down I felt like a fraud.

All that mental energy spent on self-critical and self-shaming thoughts was exhausting and stressful. I struggled to connect to myself, to make good decisions, and to cultivate strong relationships. I knew how I wanted to feel (confident, authentic, alive) and I tried everything I could to get there, but nothing worked.

When I became a personal trainer, I was psyched to finally learn how to fix all the little things that “needed improvement.” I wanted to tighten up my arms, slim my thighs, tighten up my butt, and stop getting so bloated. I figured once I changed all those things, I would finally relax and feel confident, present and like myself.

What I learned instead is that body image issues don’t discriminate.

In my 9 years as a personal trainer in NYC, I realized that my kind of body image issues were shockingly common. Even top models and actresses whose bodies seemed flawless struggled to love, accept, and embrace themselves. And like me, most “normal” women were always in the midst of a private, complex dance of hiding, distracting, people-pleasing, body-monitoring, and pretending.

I figured… ok well if body image issues aren’t actually about your body, what are they about? I set about finding the answer.

Through thousands of hours of emotional healing through movement, education, therapy, coaching, community support, reading, and bodywork, I discovered a level of freedom, authenticity, self-love, and self-acceptance that I had never experienced before… all while caring less and less about how I liked!

What I discovered was that body image is always rooted in deeper mental/emotional stuff, and must be tackled on that level.

Eventually, I realized that fitness wasn’t enough for me, and became an iPEC certified life coach so that I could start working with people on the deeper and more meaningful work of self-acceptance and self-with.

After years of coaching folks individually and in groups to find food and body freedom, self-love, and true confidence, I committed my work to the pursuit of body neutrality (because how we look is the least interesting and important thing about us!) and developed my current methodology for helping clients get there.

I’m passionate about helping people get what they really crave when they want to lose weight or look more attractive—a feeling of belonging and inherent worthiness, freedom and agency in their own skin, mental clarity and spaciousness, the ability to get their emotional needs met, and true connection with others.

Through my unique process of combining mindset shifts and emotional healing, along with tapping into the innate wisdom of the physical body, I help folks (especially women and femmes who face enormous pressure to look a certain way!) break free from body image issues and utterly transform their lives in the process.

My Mission

 

My purpose on earth is to help all folks break free from the body image issues, fear, shame, and armor that hold them back.

People who grow up in girl-bodies are especially bombarded in our culture with messages about how we have to look and act in order to be worthy of love. Even as kids we were often praised for being small, quiet, polite, pretty, thin, and happy, and shamed for being big, loud, rowdy, ugly, needy, fat, or unhappy. Not to mention the fact that we are highly discouraged from feeling our feelings, trusting our intuition, and acting on our primal urges.

The result of all this is that far too many women (and others) become overly aware of and concerned about their external appearance, while losing touch with their internal experience and sense of self. This is a potent combination that leads to a total lack of self-trust, a lack of clarity about who you are and what you want, and an obsessively critical view of how you look. (Sound familiar?)

Body image issues aren’t just about your body. They’re the result of feeling unsafe to be you it’s a part of the armor you wear to protect yourself.

The problem with this is that constantly wearing armor is like living in a fortress: safe (sort of), but isolated and lonely. You can’t experience true intimacy, connection, trust, pleasure, or joy from a fortress. You can’t write a book, or start a company, or find your calling from a fortress. You can’t change the world from a fortress.

You deserve better.  The world deserves better. After years of living in my fortress, I learned exactly how to escape and I want to teach you.

My mission is to help folks like you identify, work through, heal, and release your body image issues so that you can finally set down your armor and start living.