Who I am
Who am I?
The short story is that I’m a coach, teacher, speaker, and
writer dedicated to helping women love their bodies.
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’ve always had the kind of body society says is “acceptable” for a woman (whatever the hell that means) and I never struggled with my weight, or with food.
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 natural 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. Socially I felt 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 body image issues were shockingly common. Even top models and actresses whose bodies seemed flawless struggled to love, accept, and embrace themselves. Like me, most “normal” women were always in the midst of private, complex dance of hiding, distracting, posing, and pretending.
Through thousands of hours of emotional healing through lifting weights, education, therapy, coaching, community support, reading, and bodywork, I discovered a level of self-love and self-acceptance that I had never experienced before.
What I discovered was that body image is always rooted in deeper mental/emotional stuff, and must be tackled on that level. But given the transformational role that lifting weights played in the journey for myself and many of my female clients, I also recognized that you have to tackle body image physically, as well.
Your body affects how you think and feel, and how you think and feel affects your body. Learning to love and accept yourself requires working on, and healing, both ends.
Around the time I discovered this groundbreaking concept, I realized that despite my fitness background, I’m not passionate about helping people change their bodies. Instead, I’m passionate about helping them love, trust, accept, and embrace their bodies. I’m passionate about helping them get what they really crave– a sense of inherent worthiness, a feeling of freedom in their own skin, mental clarity and spaciousness, and true connection with others.
Eventually, I realized that fitness wasn’t going to be enough for me.
I became an iPEC certified life coach, and started working with women like you– “normal” women whose body image issues stand in the way of that worthiness, freedom, clarity, and connection.
Through my unique process of combining mindset shifts and emotional healing, along with tapping into the innate wisdom of the physical body through movement, I help women break free from body image issues and utterly transform their lives in the process.
My purpose on earth is to help all women break free from the body image issues, fear, shame, and armor that hold them back.
Women grow up in our culture bombarded with messages about how we have to look and act in order to be worthy of love. Even as little girls we are 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 most women become overly aware of and concerned about their external
appearance, while they lose all touch with their internal experience. 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 perhaps, 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. After years of living in my fortress, I learned exactly how to escape so that you never have to live like that.
My mission is to help women like you identify, work through, heal, and release your “body image issues,” so that you can finally set down your armor and start living.