MY DUDES. I am writing to you from the other side. That’s right! I am no longer a high school teacher. I am now simply a health and wellness coach, which is the best thing in the world to be, if you want my opinion. I wrote a new tagline for my business today, wanna hear it? Sure you do.
“Super Strength Health is dedicated to viewing health and wellness through a feminist lens. We work to connect clients to their innate bodily wisdom in an effort to promote physical, mental, and emotional health.”
Do you like it? It’s kind of all I ever wanted to exist in the world! It feels amazing to be making it happen.
After I finished entering my final grades I sunk into an exciting nest of time in bed, meal photography, reading for pleasure, and of course, Internet browsing. It occurred to me that when I came up with the idea of sharing a short women-and-queers links round up each week, I had thought it might be a bit challenging to find things that related to what I do over here at Super Strength Health. As I surfed the Net, nested in a mountain of pillows, I happily realized that there will literally never be a shortage. This week’s links are about fat shaming and pushing back on the powers that be, Following your dreams to bring health conscious living to the masses, teens that are openly living their lives without gender identification, figuring out just what to do with your life, and women inspiring women to make visual art. Sounds like political, emotional, financial, spiritual, and communal health to me!
That is such a great example of what I aim to do with Super Strength Health. It’s not all about green vegetables and exercise plans over here (even though, yes, I will encourage both.) What it’s about is all the other stuff. The daily instances and pressures that deeply affect our food choices. I have never been so certain that the things we eat are our secondary foods. The things that nourish– our families, our friends, our communities, our partners, our lifestyles, our self-esteem, our sense of belonging– that’s the stuff that is primary. I am all about synthesizing the two- working on the primary AND the secondary food- to help people live the best lives possible. It’s good work to be doing, and for those involved, thank you for allowing me the honor.
Onto the links!
Turns out Instagram took down a picture of the bathing-suit-covered butt of Meghan Tonjes, and the suspicion is that it was because she was a fat woman, shamelessly parading her behind. I’m sorry, but really?! HOW many scantily clad photos are there on Instagram?! And HOW many women don’t hear a peep from the app in response?! Meghan’s words in this video are great! She truly challenges not only Instagram, but fat shamers in general. Thankfully, as soon as this video was posted, Instagram reversed their decision, and the booty pic lives on. It’s an excellent reminder to make some noise when you have been wronged.
My friend Lacy Young is a health coach. She sold all of her worldly possessions, bought an RV, and is traveling the country on tour to spread health and wellnesses messages all over the US. She is calling her new life “Kale on Wheels” and I am so pumped for her. This is a post all about her new chariot, and at the end there is a link to her GoFundMe campaign. I donated, and you should too.
Helping Lacys to live their dreams is the best.
This article is on Chloe Aftel’s incredibly beautiful photographic series about young people living outside of the gender binary system. I have sweet and tender spots in my heart for both teenagers and members of the queer community- indeed they are some of the most wildly beautiful, brave, and strong hearted people on the planet. These photos make me cry and they make me proud. They make me have hope and they make me fearful and protective. Please go look and read.
Ashley Neese makes me feel calm when shit hits the fan. This article is called What Are You Doing? and when I read the title I actually got a little scared, because really, what am I doing? I quit my stable job to work for myself! I have no safety net! What if I fail!? As I read on, Ashley wrote one of the most simple and perfect sentences that I think I have ever read. She says (and I am paraphrasing here, please read her words to find the poetry!) that one should do what they have always done. Do people come to me for advice about health, nutrition, and exercise? All the time. Am I constantly excited to read new things about nutrition? Absolutely. Do I naturally have the desire to synthesize strengthening the body and upping self-esteem? Well, yeah, I do. I guess I’ve already been a health coach for some time now. Hmm. Imagine that!
I love hearing about how women inspire other women, and Margaret Kilgallen is one of my favorites.
Happy weekend to you!
After announcing the official opening of my business yesterday, I got many emails full of questions. Hopefully this explains everything I am offering, but if something is still unclear, please feel free to message and ask more. Your enthusiasm is exciting!
My primary offer right now is a six month health coaching package.
Health coaching includes dietary analysis, written assignments, two monthly counseling sessions via phone, Skype, or in person, email support, goal setting, specific nutrition feedback, body image and self-esteem improvement exercises, habit change support, etc.
I personally adopt a vegan diet and have recovered from an eating disorder, but you do not need to have experience with either to work with me. I am a strong supporter of balanced, non-processed meals and have plenty of clients who find success with me while eating animal products. I do not push a vegan agenda, but I will probably try to get you to eat more vegetables.
I have many ideal kinds of client with one common thread: clients should be motivated and excited about getting as physically and emotionally healthy as possible. Talking about food and making change can be tough work. I believe in you, though, and I also need you to believe in yourself.
I love working with busy working people who need a little help getting solid nutrition around their busy schedules. I love working with teenagers, with moms, and with teen/parent pairs. I love working with those in the queer community. I love working with those who have struggled with body image and self-esteem. I love working with people who need to lessen sugar and/or gluten from their diets, because I’ve done it and lived to tell the tale. I would happily work with vegans and/or vegetarians, as I said, but it is not a requirement.
If you live in the bay area I am also available for:
Pantry clean outs- I will go through your pantry with you, and we will ditch the unhealthy items. I will explain which things are healthy and which are not, and offer alternatives.
Grocery shopping excursions- Once your pantry is cleaned out, we will need to restock it! I will go with you to the grocery store and together we can find delicious and healthy staples to fill your cupboards.
Weekly food prep sessions- The key to healthy eating is often preparation. I would be happy to work with you to choose healthy recipes and prep them for you. When you get home, everything you want for dinner could be measured, chopped, and ready to go. Imagine the possibilities!
Personal chef work- This is the one aspect of my coaching services that is truly exclusively vegan, as this is honestly the only way that I know how to cook! If you are interested in vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free meals, I am totally your lady. I can cook low carb, macrobiotic, raw, and with allergies in mind. I can prepare the food in my home or yours, and pick up and delivery will both be available.
If you do not live in the bay area, I am available to have coaching sessions via telephone or Skype.
There are many more exciting endeavors coming up for Super Strength Health, and this is just the beginning! Thank you all so much for your interests and your questions, and if you have any curiosity, please feel free to contact me at Lacyisripped@gmail.com. (Consultations are always free!)
Illustration by the wonderful Karen Martinez
For a long time, I wanted to change, but I didn’t do it.
Every night I went to bed miserable over what my brain had put me through that day. The constant negative self-talk, the calorie counting, the bloating from over eating vegetables and the lack of satisfaction from under eating everything else- it controlled me.
Sometimes I went to bed and I thought about how I’d missed out on a social event in order to exercise or restrict my food that day, or how I’d quickly hidden my measuring spoons when my partner walked into the kitchen. (I hadn’t wanted him to know I was still measuring at all, and I thought I was smooth. Now he says “Remember when you used to measure everything!?” Of course he saw.)
I remember thinking about how I was lying to him when I hid the spoons and how I was treating myself poorly. I would promise myself I’d try again the next day. Sometimes, I woke up and did better. Sometimes, I woke up and did worse.
I think I was afraid to have a positive body image. I was afraid that if I just loved myself, right there as I was, everything else would fall out of balance. If I ate what I wanted, I’d never stop eating. If I had self-esteem my personality would become too big, I would become conceited, I wouldn’t have any incentive to try anymore.
I held myself back again and again, and I was smart enough to realize that it didn’t make any sense to do so. Unfortunately, knowing doesn’t do a damn thing. The change lies in doing.
At some point, I realized that love and hate were both action words. If I was nice to myself, took time to breathe when I felt stressed, ate foods I loved in quantities that made me feel good, worked out regularly but also let a workout go to see a friend that I was missing- I was loving myself. If I was scheduling every spare second of my time with work, eating all-vegetable meals as fast as I could, saying mean things about my body that I wouldn’t dream of saying to someone else, etc.- well, then I was hating myself. With these negative behaviors I was treating myself in a way I wouldn’t even treat an enemy, and to me that was unacceptable.
I was no longer going to try to be better, because trying wasn’t doing anything for me. I was ready to just do it. It was as simple as deciding that I deserved my own respect.
Old habits die hard. It took years to get my heart and my actions on the same page- the battle was terribly painful in a lot of ways and I needed a lot of help- but last night I was laying in bed and I had a realization. I had just prepared a blog post about what I had eaten that day, and I was so excited to share it. I had gone to work, I had smiled at my students and when I heard them say negative things about their bodies I had called it out. (“You don’t deserve to have someone talk to you like that.” Next time you hear someone put themselves down I suggest you try this sentence. ) I was feeling a little under the weather, so I had gone to bed early. I had looked in the mirror after my shower and thought about how I loved the ever-living shit out of my body. I am much heavier than I was when I restricted my food and I think I look incredible. I literally never thought I would think such a thing, and I smiled in the dark at the accomplishment of simply living my life.
I now make my food decisions based on what makes me feel best, not a set of rules. I have self-esteem and my world is not crumbling. If anything, I am more motivated than ever.
I started Super Strength Health because I want to help everyone to have this feeling about their bodies. I want people to have confidence with their food choices, learn to cultivate healthy balanced exercise routines, eat more plants, and have high self-esteem. I want to walk clients through the fires of habit change, not just in terms of eating disorder recovery, but for any sort of tweak with food and self-esteem that they may need. I want to be their advocate and their cheerleader, to look them deep in the eye and say “YOU’VE GOT THIS.” If I can change my relationship to food and body, I know other people can too.
It is WORK, and I want guide people through it. Up until this point, I have been teaching full time, and thus have not advertised that I am open to new clients. Some folks have come to me anyway- (I am impressed by the dedication and self-advocacy of these incredible humans!)- And already their journeys have been beautiful and inspiring to me. There has never been a job that I have felt was so fully right. Health coaching is the best thing I have ever done.
SO. This is my official call for new clients. I want to aid you in feeling awesome about yourself. I want to listen to your life story and your struggles, and I want to align your intentions with your actions. I believe that you can do this work. I want to help you on the path.
As I officially open my practice, I am honored to offer a 99$ a month rate to my first ten new clients. This price includes two monthly sessions, assignments, constant email support, and personalized advocacy for six months. Those that are local to the bay area have the option of in-home sessions, pantry clean-outs, and meal prep help (yes, I will come to your kitchen and help you get prepared for a healthy successful week). I also work via Skype and the telephone.
I am really excited about this
If you’re ready, I’m totally ready too. Let’s make it happen.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illustration by the wonderful Joanna S. Quigley