Where I’ve been

Where I’ve been…

(a.k.a. the long road home)

So many times I’ve wanted to write you all & tell you that I had not forgotten about you or given up my dream of helping as many people as I can live happier & healthier lives. And many times the blinking cursor on my computer screen stared back at me almost daring me to type something, to type anything.

THIS is not the way to treat people my brain screamed at me.

But I let it scream & say it’s peace because I knew that at some point I would be back, attempting to apologize for all the many, many months (gulp, years…) I let go by without a peep from me.

I could go on & make excuse after excuse, trying almost in vain to make it seem right & okay that I didn’t hit the send button sooner.

But I’m not going to make a single excuse, I’m going to apologize (I’m sorry for being a lame health coach) & then I’m going to tell you about my journey of where I’ve been & then the exciting bit about where I’m headed!

I’ve been blessed to love the work that I do. I’ve been blessed to be able to bear witness to the people in my life who bravely & courageously choose to be healthier. Sometimes this choice has not been an option- get healthier or else. Stop eating whatever food because it could kill you. If you don’t exercise, you are asking for trouble. As extremist as this sounds, the sound of a doctor’s voice telling you what you need to do otherwise your time left on this planet will expire faster than you had planned is a huge motivator.

I call people like these “the lucky ones.” They don’t have a choice to make when it comes to living a healthy life. Scratch that, they DO have a choice. They can either choose to live. Or they can choose to die.


But it’s the truth. No matter how you spin it, when you are handed down a diagnosis that REQUIRES you to wake up & finally become the advocate for your life, you do it. You don’t make the excuse that you’re too busy, too tired, you don’t have enough money or that it’s just hard.

You. Just. Do. It.

If you are one of those “lucky ones”, congratulations for being able to look past the BS and step up for yourself.

If you are not one of those “lucky ones” then I have some news for you. No matter what you say you’re going to do & how you always have the best of intentions, unless you actually DO it then it doesn’t mean a thing. Talk is cheap.

How do I know? Because I’ve been running the same script for years hoping that no one would catch on to the game I was playing. It’s been a perpetual bait and switch. Look, see, I eat my vegetables. That must mean I’m healthy. Oh wait, let me Instagram that.

No matter that I would suck down pieces (bars) of chocolate before bedtime just to soothe my frazzled, overworked nerves- I ate my broccoli! I’m the best health coach ever…!

Correction, that would be chocolate bars, cookies, pieces of cake, bowl(s) of pasta, hunks of cheese, donuts, leftover pizza or Chinese food… You catch my drift, yes?

Errr… That’s not exactly how I wanted to be seen in the world. How could I explain to my clients what it meant to be healthy if I could NOT do it for myself? I felt like the world’s biggest fraud. So what’s easier? To make the decision to finally stop the games and be healthy? Or to just give up & drown myself in a tub of ice cream?

It turns out that neither one is really easy. And it turns out that for me eating a tub of ice cream is not, in fact, a brilliant decision before bed, let alone EVER.

Did you know that when you put off making a decision that you are in fact making a decision?

You’re choosing to let someone else make the decision for you. Let me just tell you, that is one of the most soul-sucking things that you can do. Any sense of personal power is just shot. Any sense of “I can so do this!” is gone because you keep proving over and over again to yourself that you can’t actually do anything, that someone else must know better so you just kind of float along in life hoping that the tides will somehow, someday turn in your favor.

This is not the way to live.

However so many of us, myself included, CHOSE to just go with the flow, to see where life took us rather than deciding that any and each of us are worth so much more and that we can, in fact, chart the course of our lives ourselves.

So yes, you have the choice. You’ve always had the choice.

I had the choice too but this is what i did with it.

I wasted it. I wasted all of the time, energy and money that I had invested in myself and in my health. I stopped. I just stopped. It’s as if throwing my hands up and saying “I give up, it’s just too hard.” was a better strategy for becoming healthier or for building a health coaching practice than it was to say “I need help.”

I needed help. I needed support. I needed to not feel so very much alone in my life. I could feel myself withdrawing, secluding myself and even getting angry and jealous at the people around me who had it so much better and, even more, just didn’t *get* me.

(Have you ever been there?)

Who was I kidding? I wasn’t giving myself any credit. Why should anyone else do the same? Why would anyone cut me any slack when I wasn’t even going to do it for myself?

So I stopped. I ended any and all momentum I had in my coaching practice. I stopped seeing my private coaching clients. I even backed away from calling myself a Health Coach & threw myself one of the most amazing pity parties. Problem is, I didn’t invite anyone to bear witness to the spectacular job I was doing feeling sorry for myself. No one was able to see how incredibly talented I was at making myself feel like the biggest fraud & that I had no right to coach anyone at all until I had “fixed” myself.

The funny thing about this self-induced pity party is that you truly don’t feel like you have any power to make anything better. You honestly believe that you must be a horrible person and that this life is the most that you deserve at that moment. Something bad happens and you re-convince yourself that you not only deserved it but you deserved worse. You convince yourself that you GOT OFF EASY. So the solution to all of that? You punish yourself. You make yourself wrong and bad and undeserving of anything good.

And so the spiral will continue down, down, down and even deeper until there’s that record scratch. That break in the usual that gets your attention.

Maybe someone offers a helping hand. A new job. A better position. More money. Maybe you move to a new place. Maybe there’s just a moment of clarity that seems to push away the rain clouds and gives you a glimpse of sunlight and possibility.

Maybe there’s a car accident.

A car accident?

Yup a car accident.

Hello wake-up call…

At the end of April 2013 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I was rear-ended on the George Washington Bridge- the bridge that spans from New York City/Manhattan to New Jersey. Correction, I wasn’t just rear-ended. I became part of the meat in a 5 car sandwich. Being Car #2 was interesting positioning that day, especially if you understand some of the basics of Physics. It didn’t matter that I was stopped. It didn’t matter that the car in front of me and the car behind me were also stopped. Someone behind them did not.

Do you remember this high school physics equation?

Force = Mass X Acceleration

(There won’t be a quiz, but this is easiest to illustrate my situation.)

You see, I had the supreme honor of having 2 impacts that day. First from behind, then from the front.

Let’s see how this equation works out:

Force of Impact #1 (only on Me) = (Mass of now connected Cars 3, 4, & 5) X Acceleration/Poor Braking Skills of Car #5

Force of Impact #2 (My Car hitting Car #1) = Mass of my Car X Acceleration of my Car (Force of Impact #1 had me ricochet off of Car 3, 4, & 5 blob)

Ouch. Now that sucked. Okay, let’s be real, it more than sucked.

My car. My poor car was wrecked. Just drive-able the final 18 miles home but then deemed not fixable by my insurance company. Totaled. Gone.

Me? I wasn’t totaled but I was wrecked.

No surprise but it turns out that having 2 impacts in a car accident is much worse than just one. When I got hit from behind with the collective momentum of the last 3 cars, I was hit with so much force that whatever room I had between myself and the car in front of me AND all my remaining strength pressing down on my brakes for dear life evaporated into thin air and I slammed into the car ahead of me.

I played pinball with my brains & skull not once but twice that day.

Verdict: Definite concussion. Definite whiplash. And to add insult to injury, nerve impingement on my left side from my neck down.

My Mom came with me to the Urgent Care Center because I didn’t know if I could remember everything the doctor was saying to me. I was so rattled yet I was thinking perfectly clearly as I ticked off the items on my To-Do List.

Get home.

Don’t cry.

Go to the doctor.

Don’t break down.

Bring a 2nd pair of ears to pick up anything I might miss.

Keep breathing, no tears allowed.

Get medicine. (My 1st experience with muscle relaxers, ugh…)

Resist urge to lose my mind.

Distract yourself.

(What just happened?)

Stay awake.

Don’t freak out. Don’t freak out. Don’t freak out. Don’t freak out.

Don’t. Freak. Out.

Oh crap.

It takes a little bit of time for the adrenaline to wear off & the full ramifications of what just happened to sink in. I don’t know how long it took or how many times the realization came to me but it changed my life.

I haven’t spoken about this aloud to too many people, but in that moment, in that instant of impact(s), I became a different person.

A voice in my head told me a few things:

1. You’ve just been in a car accident but all limbs are accounted for. You’re going to be hurting- there are injuries but you are going to be okay. You will survive this. I am 100% sure of that.

2. Your car is gone. Just taking a few looks around it, it is gone. Please be grateful because your car just saved you from far worse injuries. You can grieve later, for now- be grateful that you walked away from the accident.

3. Ask yourself this question: if this had been it, if this was your final moment on this planet, would you honestly be able to say that you’ve accomplished whatever it is that you set out to do with your time?

Wow. Reality check.

In the 24 hours that followed, all I could think of was #3. If this was it, could I be at peace leaving the planet? If the accident was really bad & I didn’t survive, did I accomplish my goals, my mission, my purpose?

Yeah, it’s a deep question but it shook me to my core.

No. NO, NO!

I wasn’t done yet. I haven’t even scratched the surface of living my dreams. I haven’t been married yet. I haven’t had my babies yet. I haven’t done even half of the things that I intend to do with my life.

In between muscle relaxers, attempting to work my gym job & telling everyone that I was fine, my brain kept going back to that dark place of what if?

I wasn’t fine. I was far from it.

Cars would get a little too close to me on the highway & I would end up hysterically crying. I would relive the accident over and over and over again.

Of course I did this all in private.

No one was to know that I wasn’t strong enough to handle one little car accident.

No one was to know that my body was hurting.

No one was to know that my brain wasn’t reacting like it normally did.

No one was to know that I was vulnerable in almost every sense of the word.

No one was to know that I felt broken.

No one was to know that I felt betrayed by my body, by my mind, by my soul. How could this happen? What did I do to deserve this?

The only thing they could know was that I was fine. I was fine. I kept saying it over & over & over again, no matter how obvious it was that I wasn’t. No matter how many times I insisted that I was fine & normal & okay.

I couldn’t count from 15 to 20 without skipping numbers unless I counted out loud. I kept blanking around 16. This went on for months. My clients were amazing about it, but it was freaking me out.

What if my brain was so beaten up that it might never function normally ever again?

What was I going to do then? What would that mean for my life, for my future, if I never really felt “normal” ever again?

It took me over a year to fully recover, both physically, emotionally & mentally. On a really hot or really cold day, my brain still has it’s moments where it pauses. I find myself cringing in the rare moment when I hear my mouth slurring my words as I talk. My body is different now too. I have nagging pains & injuries that stuck with me from my attempt to not rest after the accident.

15 months.

15 months until I finally felt back to “normal”.

All it took was a near miss from a car rear-ending me as I waited to turn onto my street just a few short months ago to snap me back to myself. He was speeding down the highway & didn’t realize I was stopped. Instead of going around me on the right onto the ample shoulder, he instead swerved to the left of me, just barely missing hitting me & then needed to swerve again to miss hitting oncoming traffic. I described the amount of space between his car & mine as an angel wing. That was it. That was the almost impossibly closeness of his car. I could have seen my home from the road. I was so close to being home & being safe. My heart was beating out of my chest and once I went to open the door to the house, my body started to shake & I just completely lost it.

In that moment, I lost whatever normal-ness I had created over the previous year. It was gone but in its place was a new sense of clarity. Amazing how that happens, isn’t it?

All I had now was this newly found realization that this life is the only one we get & that I needed to get over myself & all my false claims of fraudulence & crappiness as a coach.

In that moment & in all the moments after my car accident, I was given a new choice. I could choose to remain feeling like a victim, never really feeling safe, supported & capable OR I could choose something different.

I chose and continue to choose DIFFERENT.

In the time after my car accident last April, I decided to become a student again. Not a student in the traditional sense of enrolling in a school, but rather a student of life. I studied whatever I could get my hands on when it came to the human body- new training techniques, injury prevention, Eastern Medicine as it applies to human physiology. I studied whatever I could when it came to the brain & neuroscience- quantum physics & mechanics as it applies to human thought & action, Neuro-linguistic programming, hypnosis, meditation. I soaked it all up like a sponge. I figured that if my body was going to hold me captive, I might as well let my brain out for a little run in the extensive library of human knowledge.

This is when I returned to study with my mentors. For now, I’ll just call them Stacey & Carey but for me, they are part of the reason why I can now fully embody what it means to me to be a student of masterful coaching & transformative change work. The gift that I have been given is a huge part of the reason why I am reaching out now to each of you.

I could have just started completely from scratch. Wiped the slate clean of my previous newsletter subscription list & opened a new account but that didn’t feel right to me. What felt most authentic & correct was to show up as I am now- imperfect, a little bit broken but happily willing to step up as the coach that I am & as the coach that I have always been afraid to be.

You see it’s a humbling experience to witness another’s experience of life. It’s even more humbling & even sacred to be able to watch someone successfully make the changes in their lives & in their situations that they have been trying & failing at for years and sometimes even for their whole lifetime.

I have been privy to this transformation over the last year within my amazing coaching group. I have been a guide to my fellow coaches who have also chosen this path just as much as they have been my guides, my confidants, my amazing support group & have allowed me space to grow into my truth. They have challenged me, cried with me & supported me but they never let me hide or shrink away. They have been graced with the skill and tenacity to hold me up as I grew & transformed into who I really am.

It has not always been pretty. It has not always been easy. But each step of the way has been a necessary piece of my growth as a coach.

And this is now what I have the honor of presenting to you. I am so thrilled to be back as a Health Coach and I am thrilled to be able to gift everyone I meet, everyone I speak to, tweet, Facebook, share Instagram photos with or even with anyone who reads my posts with the Transformation Coaching Method.

It has changed my life and if you’re on a similar path, I believe that it could change yours as well.

In the most simplest of understandings of this work- What if you could change whatever it is that you’re looking to change- a belief, an old habit, a pattern that might repeat in your health, in your relationships, in your career- without having to think about it every second, every moment of every single day? What might that mean for your life? For your future?

I’m all about creating more options and more flexibility in your life. What if your belief about your body- too big, too small, too fat, too skinny, weak, broken, imperfect or <insert your body belief here> – could be different? What if you could change the way you feel about yourself, your health & your body without deprivation diets or punishing exercise but rather with real, honest body & soul nourishment? What if?

Really, what if?

What could this possibly mean for you?

If you weren’t so busy beating yourself up over the way you look or over the things you eat (or don’t eat), over the things you do (or don’t do) or even over the way you act around your mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, boyfriend, girl friend, best friend, boss or lover- WHAT IF?

This is where I’ve been, this is what I’ve been studying & absorbing over the last year +. It’s been a wild journey and some parts I’m hesitant to relive, but it’s me, it’s my truth and it’s what has brought me to this moment.

My goal is to be completely transparent with you as a coach. It doesn’t serve either of us to have me appear as the Guru on the Highest Mountain Top. It’s not the truth & it never has been. What is true?

The truth is that I have been part coach for my entire life. The truth is that I will be a coach for the rest of my life.

The truth is that I have needed to close myself off from large portions of my life- friendships included- in order to really get down to the core of who I am. In a way, I needed to fully suffer, feel alone & cut off from my life to really be able to appreciate it. And the truth is, I’ve lost a good amount of friends. What’s better than that? I wonder sometimes how many of them were true friends to begin with.

There is no value in my pretending to be someone that I am not and there is no value in putting on a brave face when any of us are suffering.

My promise to you is simple: I will keep showing up. I will show you the highs and the lows. I will show you that there is a different option. I will show you that the road isn’t always straight & it isn’t always smooth but that you will always learn more when you choose to travel upon it rather than sit in the rest stop waiting for the storm to pass.

So are you with me?

When you’re ready, let me know- what is your “What If?” statement? What if you could… What if you were… What if you chose…

What are the possibilities? What is the potential for you to live an even more amazing, loving, out-loud and on purpose life? What if that could happen? What if?

I believe it can happen for you.

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