My one-on-one clients and online course-takers are mostly women like me: smart, understandably skeptical women who want to feel good in their own heads, in their own bodies, and with the choices they make, day after day.
Most Pleasure-seekers could build Rome in a day, but when it comes to caring for themselves, they default to inaction, self-harm, and self-criticism.
Many are overweight or feel out of control around in some way, and they hate themselves for it.
I often ask my overweight personal training clients, “What about your body brings you the most joy and satisfaction?” Most of the time, my question is met with a blank stare.
“Oh, please,” they say. “There’s nothing good about this.” That, or they just laugh and look at me like I’m out of my mind. If that’s where you’re at, you’re in the right place. I created this course for you, and your time will not be wasted - I'll give you a tool in the very first presentation that’ll help you you feel genuinely invested in yourself and your body as you are (don't worry, it doesn't involve repeating "I love myself" over and over again).
It is only by feeling genuinely invested in oursevles and our bodies as they are that we are able to make caring, healthier choices day after day, even when it's hard (which, let's face facts here, it almost always is).
(Don't worry - the first class is about how we get to that place of feeling invested in our bodies as they are, even if we're not there yet.)
Meanwhile, if you’re like many past course-takers, and absolutely LOVE the body you’re in, big or small, and you just want to develop healthier habits, you’re also in the right place. Good on you, Baby.
Part of why I’m able to maintain my massive weight loss is that I made peace with my former, 300-pound body, so I don’t fear gaining the weight back. Fear is uncomfortable, and discomfort begs relief. Keeping my fears in check - and in perspective - makes health and happiness possible for someone like me.
I wrote a love-letter to my former, larger body. 5 Things I Miss About My 300-Pound Body ran on my then-unknown blog. It got more hits than any other piece I’d run. At a client’s recommendation, I pitched it to an online magazine.
Something much bigger than me (HA!) was set in motion the morning that piece ran. It was like a volcano erupted. I got emails and messages from people all over the world - people struggling to get healthy, to develop new habits, to lose weight, and to take better care of themselves generally. Morbidly obese mothers and grandmothers, fathers, uncles, teenagers...people who’d lost 50, 100, 200, 350 pounds...all thanking me for being honest enough to say that there were things to love about being overweight - significant things that no one ever talks about - and for being brave enough to say it LOUD.
A hundred emails came in before the sun went down. Hundreds more came in that weekend. Then thousands. Women thanked me for giving them a perspective on their large bodies that they’d never had before. They thanked me for giving them real, irrefutable reasons to love themselves as they were. Many had never felt that kind of love. They shared their stories and their struggles. They reached out with more authenticity and more honest beauty than I could wrap my head around.
They also wanted to work with me.
These folks didn’t want workouts. They could go anywhere for that. Diets, too. They wanted more.
They wanted what I had: the tools to get fit and healthy, and to stay that way.
They wanted to work with someone they knew would understand their struggle and respect them through their process.
And they wanted to work with someone they could feel connected to, and un-selfconscious with. (Because - I don't know if you've noticed - isolation and self-consciousness fuel self-sabotage. We're talking bonfires here, folks. Big ones.)
That would be me.
I already had a full-time job, and a wait list with dozens of names on it. I had no more hours to give.
The exact population I was uniquely equipped to help were asking for my support, and I had to turn them away.
Or did I?
And so began a project that would consume me until it felt complete: Pleasure Principles.