I GREW UP BELIEVING THAT ANYTHING WORTH HAVING NEEDED TO BE STRUGGLED FOR.
If it was too easy, then it wasn’t worth it. A typical Type A, high-achiever, I did well in school and sports, swimming competitively and finishing off my schooling with a Masters of Information. I spent 15 years working in both the academic and business sectors. I built high-performing teams, managed huge projects, was responsible for a $25 million sales territory, and taught a grad-level course at a university. By many standards, I was successful.
And yet, there was a deeper, darker side that I didn’t show anyone. The feeling that my body was holding me hostage as I gained and lost the same 100 lbs. The divorce. And then the second divorce. Underneath, I was constantly struggling to find a way to bridge the gap between how I was feeling and how I wanted to feel.
From Atkins, to Dr. Bernstein, to Weight Watchers, I tried so many ways of losing weight- only to fail at all of them. Depriving myself, and the obsessiveness that’s necessary in these programs, fueled my body-weight fixation and worked opposite to how it was supposed to work. I would starve and then binge, deprive and then overindulge, going to extremes in both states.
I started feeling like an imposter in my own life. Outside, I was the successful Sales Director, but inside I felt ashamed of my weight and my failure to lose it. I kept asking myself, “why am I successful in so many areas of my life, but I’m totally failing in this one??!!” Those self-judgements would start a shame spiral that would inevitably lead to seeking comfort from food by binge eating potato chips and Hagan Das. I had to keep buying new clothes as my weight increased. I begin shopping at Addition Elle and other plus-size stores, feeling embarrassed by the walk from my car to store, worrying about what people thought of me. This obsession over how people viewed me because of my body size kept me from going out and being seen because I didn’t want to be the “fat” girl at the restaurant or at the party. It was just easier and more comfortable to stay home in my yoga pants and eat in peace. I lost all my confidence.
When I hit my all-time high weight of 300 lbs, I felt called to try something different. I began thinking about how I’d been hating my body and feeling like it’s the enemy- so what if instead I tried loving myself just as I am? This process was slooooow going for a while. I went to therapy for binge eating, separated from my husband, and stopped commuting two hours per day. I surrounded myself in a bubble of support from family and friends and chose to practice body positivity. I felt like I’d might as well try loving myself because hating myself hadn’t worked over the 10 years I’d been doing that.
AND THINGS BEGAN TO CHANGE.
I began feeling more whole and more like who I wanted to be. There were still ups and downs, but if my life was a chart, I was trending upwards. I started caring less about what other people thought and focused on how I was feeling about me. I gave myself permission to buy clothes that fit my body as it was so that I felt good about how I looked (normally, I would have bought clothes too small in the hopes that it would motivate me to lose weight. It didn’t, and I accumulated bins of beautiful clothes that I’d never worn.) I signed up for a belly dance class and did paint nites with friends and went to the spa. Basically, I started doing things that made me feel great both physically and emotionally.
When I discovered coaching and began training to be a coach, I found the words to describe the journey I was on…I was living aligned with myself, and that allowed me to create more aligned relationships with others. I was speaking up for myself, being bold and being seen. Now, it feels like everything I want to accomplish is possible. I feel great about my body and have found deep self love, eat wholesome foods, and move my body joyfully.
There was a dramatic moment when I realized that I was in a good place with self-love. I led a workshop for women…naked. Yup, we were all naked at a spa. That workshop marked both my biggest challenge and biggest triumph in body positivity.
And then I topped it by doing a boudoir photo shoot! I wonder what’s next…heehee!
THIS IS WHY I’M SO PASSIONATE ABOUT WORKING WITH PLUS-SIZE WOMEN.
I know the struggle and I know how to help you live your best life. Let’s take those feelings of shame and hiding out and begin with baby steps. Starting small and then letting the positivity snowball is the way this works.
Perhaps it’s a challenge to go to a party where you don’t know many of the people. So, let’s start with having a few trusted friends over to your place and work up to being the belle of the ball.
Perhaps you’re really wanting to start dating but are worried about finding someone who is ok with your body size. So, let’s start with exploring the stories you’re telling yourself about dating so that you can find your happily ever after.
Perhaps you’re letting others walk all over you because it’s easier than calling attention to yourself. So, let’s start with taking a stand for yourself on a small but important issue so that soon you’ll be living life on your terms and not compromising.
I work with women who are ready to do the work, be self-reflective, and challenge themselves for the sake of living a kick ass life.
IF YOU’RE READY TO GRAB LIFE BY THE LOVE HANDLES, LET’S CHAT!
Here’s what makes me legit.
My professional history can be viewed over here, but here are some highlights:
- Guest Expert radio interview on “Sex City”
- Speaker at The Fuller Woman Expo
- Guest Expert television appearance on “Creating Your Best Life Now”
- Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) from The Coaches Training Institute
- Co-Active Leadership Program from The Coaches Training Institute
- Masters Certificate in Adult Training and Development, Schulich School of Business, York University
- B.A. in Honors English Literature, Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science, both from Western University, London, Ontario
When I talked with Sophia, I was drawn to her warmth and passion. She’s very perceptive – and she’s really good at articulating the things that still seem a bit vague in my head. I suppose I thought that coaching was going to be more whipping me into shape – and lord knows I did enough of that myself already. But instead, she helped me slow down and treat myself with greater gentleness so I could actually take a good look at what was going on.Cara