Space, Wiggle Room and a Little Bit of Love

Space, Wiggle Room and a Little Bit of Love

I’d like to tell you a story, since that that’s how we learn the best. And most of us enjoy a good love story, right? I coach men about relationships. And I coach women as well about relationships, health and fitness. I’ve been a marathon runner, a personal trainer, and a workout nut for over 20 years. Clearly, I am a type A personality…in case you haven’t guessed. One of my clients, named Claire, came to work with me. She was burned out in her life. While she was succeeding in her career and in good physical shape, she was not satisfied or content. Her dating life was ok. She worked out several times a week, but just felt like she was on the treadmill of life. You know that hamster wheel feeling? The one where the little guy runs and runs on the wheel, but doesn’t get anywhere? Yeah, we’ve all been there. We had a session together, and we kept going deeper into what was really going on with her. After all, on the outside, she looked just “fine” according to most people. She was not satisfied, or “lit up” about her life. Whatever You Resists, Persists As both a coach and one in the transformational world for 19 years, I know that whatever you resist, persists. So at first, she did not want to go there. She kept saying she was fine. However, my job as a coach is to get into what’s going on underneath that fine exterior. This is the juicy part of my job. After doing some work, Claire realized that she was...
Celebrate Being Single

Celebrate Being Single

This is for all the single people out there I must admit, I hate those kind of radio stations…the lovey smarmy ones. I really hope I don’t come across like one of those disc jockeys. It’s especially tough if you’re single. You may already know that I talk about the tough topics that no one wants to talk about: shame, addiction, eating disorders, sexual assault, drugs, alcohol. You know, the fun stuff. Plus, I bring humor into it because I have to. Comedy helped me heal. Musical comedy helped me stay alive growing up, seriously. When I fell into stand up comedy, it helped me tremendously with my recovery on many levels. Today, in the “love” month of February, I want to talk about how our culture shames single people. That’s why I believe we should use Valentine’s Day to celebrate any kind of love: friendships, health, teachers, pets, causes, charities, communities. Valentine’s Day can be about more than just romantic love and so often the “love” that is portrayed in the media is not real. It’s made up, and pretty dysfunctional. Have you listened to love songs…to the actual words? It’s kind of funny and also frightening that as a girl growing up and singing the lyrics, I was setting myself up for a lot of therapy about my relationships with men. Celebrate Being Single So I’ve never been married and I am a straight woman. I’ve been engaged twice and I’ve been asked a few times, but, for many reasons, I’ve never actually gone down the aisle. And I cannot tell you how many people have freaked...
My Prince Will Come…

My Prince Will Come…

As a child, I lived in my head a lot. My parents divorced when I was 4 years old and my sister was 2. When my father married my stepmother, she came along with a son from a previous marriage. At first, my sister and I only visited once per month on the weekends. Later we moved in full time and I went from being the oldest to the middle child. My younger sister was a tomboy, so she and my step brother rode motorcycles and climbed trees together, but I was too scared. My sister excelled at gymnastics and soccer while I was more into reading books and playing the piano. This is when my feeling left out and disconnected began. I Was Disconnected Two family members (not my dad) sexually abused me, and I developed eating disorders, which I now know is very common. So I disconnected more and more from my body. It felt like I was living inside my head, and my body seemed to belong to someone else. Since then I’ve learned that many sexual abuse survivors disconnect and leave their bodies as a way to protect themselves and survive. Fast forward through many years of drug abuse, drinking and unhealthy relationships (all driven by shame), I eventually did some healing work that led me to sobriety and onto the path of recovery. Thank you, Landmark Education and AA. Sometime during my 20s I’d learned to work out at the gym and the gift of being physical. I’d figured out that I needed 2 bras when I jogged. Jogging bras have come a long...
On Body Shame, Self-Love… and a New Year

On Body Shame, Self-Love… and a New Year

We all made it through another holiday season, and now we have to “face the music” - open the bills, look in the mirror. It’s a New Year. It’s a new you. This is the time when most of us make New Year’s resolutions. We make them every year, even though we know they don’t really work. I love this fact about humanity. There is a part in each of us that never gives up hope. We say to ourselves: This is the year… I’m going to finally… And you know what, some people actually do honor their resolutions for more than 5 days. I am not criticizing. I’ve been there myself, many times. I would like to, however, offer a different approach. First you should know where I am coming from, so let me give a bit of background about me, in case you haven’t heard my story or seen me speak before. Background on my body shame I was put on my first diet when I was in the first grade. My stepmother used to scream at me: “Elaine, you’re fat.” I’ve seen at the pictures of myself as a child, and I was never fat. I even had knobby knees. Everyone else in the family could eat whatever while I felt hungry and deprived. I started to obsess about food, not eating, over exercising, and thinking so bad about my body. I developed an eating disorder, and went from starving and purging to laxatives. Then doing crystal meth to lose weight. I have been a size 4 and a size 10. I know ALL about diets....

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