People often ask, “How did you get into coaching and why do you do it?”

Here’s my story.

It’s what inspires me daily to do this work.

It starts back in the ’90s when I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, as second to the youngest of five siblings.

My childhood, not unlike many others, was one of poverty, dysfunction, abuse, trauma, and instability.

My father suffered from severe mental illness and was physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive. For much of my childhood, he didn’t work due to mental and physical disabilities. We lived on all types of government assistance, disability checks, welfare, food stamps, and section eight.

When I was about 7 years old, my mother enrolled in college with the aspiration to dig us out of poverty. She worked tirelessly for years to obtain a teaching degree and began working multiple jobs. Teaching during the day, and a receptionist at a car dealership at night.

While my mom was successfully putting our family on the right track financially, my father’s mental state was rapidly declining, and his abusive behavior escalated.

Like any child lacking the proper mechanisms to cope with dysfunction, I turned to food as an attempt to gain control over the instability of my environment, outlet my emotions, and regulate my nervous system.

This ultimately manifested as restrictive and compulsive eating, laxative addiction, and body dysmorphia. By the time I was 16 years old, I was full-blown with eating disorders.

I had a completely distorted perception of my body. I was stick-skinny at 95 pounds and saw something completely different in the mirror. I hated myself and was convinced that if I lost weight and changed the shape of my body, I would be worthy of love and acceptance.

I’d restrict calories daily, go to the gym and run on the treadmill for hours, then completely lose myself in a binge at night. I’d feel so bad about not being able to have more “willpower and self-control”, that I’d mentally beat myself up, only creating more self-hatred and shame.

The next day, in an effort to course correct and “get back on the diet”, I’d consume laxatives and diet shakes, until eventually going back to full restriction, and the cycle would continue over and over again.

You see, I was health conscious but it was being done in a very distorted and self-punishing way, my unhealthy relationships with food and my body were evidence of that.

Things began to shift a few years later when I had my first spiritual awakening at 18 years old.

Like most initiations, it was sparked by profound teaching, Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.

This book. Blew. My. Mind. Wide. Open.

I experienced a paradigm shift in which everything I thought I knew up until that point was shaken loose, tossed up in the air (like a snow globe), and completely shifted.

It was like putting on a pair of glasses with lenses I’d never looked through before. I began to have an entirely new perspective on life, my health, my mindset, my relationships, how I related to the world, and most importantly, my healing.

For the first time, I saw it was possible to overcome the trauma of my childhood, the obstacles I was facing with food and my body, and find forgiveness in my relationship with my father. You can read the full story here in my book.

I was finally beginning to get a sense of what freedom, peace of mind, and healing were actually about.

I moved out of my childhood home to split the rent in a small one-bedroom apartment with a friend. I was enrolled in Brooklyn College earning a degree in Early Childhood General and Special Education, while working two jobs, bartending at night and assistant teaching at a daycare center during the day. I had also started traveling internationally which was broadening my horizons even more.

I was beginning to feel new possibilities and a change in the trajectory of my life’s path emerging.

All of the pieces started coming together, and things started to make sense in a new way.

I recall the moment I asked myself a very critical question that determined how the rest of my life would unfold.

Will I carry my childhood narratives and experiences into the rest of my life, feeling victim to them, OR will I use these challenges as an opportunity to powerfully create change in myself and in others?

This was so important because I saw how my father lived, and I knew I never wanted to suffer, nor create suffering for others, in the ways he did.

I never wanted to give up on life or blame the world for everything how he did. My father lived in a chronic state of misery, victim consciousness, lack of personal responsibility, and without an ounce of self-reflection. Albeit, he was diagnosed with mental illnesses, in many ways he leaned on them as a crutch which perpetuated his physical, mental, and emotional collapse.

He was the exact model of what I didn’t want for my life. Seeing how he lived, fueled me to create massive change in myself, taking full responsibility for my health, happiness, and quality of life.

It was because of what I went through in my formative years, that I chose to dedicate my life to a path of ongoing personal, professional, and spiritual growth.

And that’s exactly what I’ve done in the last 2 decades.

I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) after college, started my coaching practice 6 months later, and still continue to coach, teach, guide, and inspires others over 11 years later.

I love this life path and wouldn’t change it if I could. Everything I experienced gave me the exact life experience, learning, tools, wisdom, and insight needed for my precise soul path and life journey. I wouldn’t be the woman, teacher, wife, sister, daughter, friend, mom I am today had I not experienced my life exactly as it was in it’s divine and perfect unfolding.

This is the wisdom and insight I bring to my students and clients.

Taking your life experience, exactly as it was, is, and will be, and turning it into gems of learning, wisdom, and gold.

Needless to say, I chose the latter and made a powerful decision to begin taking responsibility for my life and for my happiness, because no one was going to do it for me. I made a commitment to my healing, personal growth, and spiritual-emotional transformation. And as my relationship to food slowly healed, so did the relationship to my body, followed by the relationship to my mind, my soul and consequently my life.

I know the purpose of particularly challenging circumstance is for the divine assignments those situations offer. We learn and grow from the pain, gain insight and wisdom through the struggle, and when the time comes, accept the assignment as teacher to inspire others.

It didn’t take long for me to realize I needed to share these gifts and insights with the world.

After I received my Teaching Degree from Brooklyn College in 2012, I went on to get certified in Integrative Nutritional Health Coaching through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where my growth and healing was unleveled a thousand percent. I discovered a life-changing methodology to healing my relationship to food, that literally changed everything for me. I now, not only, have the healthiest relationship to food, healthiest relationship to my body, healthiest relationship to my mind than I’ve ever had in my entire life, but I get to impart this wisdom onto others.

Throughout the past 15+ years of my personal journey, I’ve immersed myself in vast spiritual teachings, dove deep into personal and professional development courses, invested in many mentors, and as a life-long learner committed to this journey of self-progression, I continue learning.

Bringing these skills, tools, insight, knowledge, and methodology to my clients, I teach people the powerful healing effects of real food, nourishment of the mind, body, soul through sacred self-care, and the transformation that is possible when you set your mind toward willingness and a desire to heal.

…Our struggles truly are our greatest teachings, because without them, we wouldn’t find ourselves, we’d remain blocked from our truth, and others would never get to experience the inspiration from our triumph…

Share in the comments below. What’s a struggle you overcame and how were you a better person because of it?

I grew up in Brooklyn, one of six siblings. In short, my family of origin was one of dysfunction, chaos, poverty, and abuse. My father was mentally unwell, while my mother picked up the slack, working tirelessly to support six kids, earning a teaching degree at night, taking on more than two jobs at once, slowly digging us out of poverty, and used the means she had to get through. Her bike was the family’s main means of transportation, with a couple kids on the back, in the basket, handle bars, on her head. We made it work

I’m not gonna sugar coat it. Life in that environment was tough. I look back now and see it as one of the greatest blessings, but at the time it was hardly so.

As any child lacking the critical thinking capabilities and proper mechanisms to process chaos, I sought to find control wherever I could. For me, that became food, and manifested as eating disorders, compulsive and emotional eating, addiction to laxatives, body dysmorphia, an extremely unhealthy relationship to food, and an even worse relationship to my body.

Food was the most viable source of control I had at the time, as much a source of pleasure as it was pain. It was the outlet for my emotions. It got me, understood me, immediately comforted me, and then let me down.

In an effort to feel better by looking skinnier in order to be worthy of love, I’d jumped from one diet to the next, restrict food and then binge, hate myself for lack of self-control, and became addicted to laxatives. I had zero self-confidence. More so, my body was in state of dis-ease with chronic eczema, asthma, allergies and frequent bronchitis.

Until one day…

I had a life-changing a-ha moment! You know those blink of an eye instances when things just pivot and you start seeing with a crystal clarity you hadn’t had prior? That’s what this was for me- “Natural Cures They Don’t Want you to Know About,” by Kevin Trudeau. It instantaneously changed my thinking and eating habits. And just like that, initiated by my willingness to change my relationship to food, my healing journey began.

Within days of eating healthier and cutting out harsh, processed foods, I began to experience the powerful effects of naturally healing my body from the inside out. For the first time ever, I had relief from eczema and allergies without steroidal pharmaceuticals! I had energy, focus, clarity, and most importantly confidence that I had never felt before. This was life-changing!

I began experiencing a new sense of control, a deeply transformative feeling of empowerment that was very new to me. I was taking my life and health into my own hands! It was from this place where I realized the importance of not only healing my physical body, but my emotional body, as well. I knew I had two choices:

1. Continue carrying around my childhood story and feeling victim to it OR
2. Leverage the negative, see it for the gift it truly is, and turn it into a positive.

Needless to say, I chose the latter and made a powerful decision to begin taking responsibility for my life and for my happiness, because no one was going to do it for me. I made a commitment to my healing, personal growth, and spiritual-emotional transformation. And as my relationship to food slowly healed, so did the relationship to my body, followed by the relationship to my mind, my soul and consequently my life.

I know the purpose of particularly challenging circumstance is for the divine assignments those situations offer. We learn and grow from the pain, gain insight and wisdom through the struggle, and when the time comes, accept the assignment as teacher to inspire others.

It didn’t take long for me to realize I needed to share these gifts and insights with the world.

After I received my Teaching Degree from Brooklyn College in 2012, I went on to get certified in Integrative Nutritional Health Coaching through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where my growth and healing was unleveled a thousand percent. I discovered a life-changing methodology to healing my relationship to food, that literally changed everything for me. I now, not only, have the healthiest relationship to food, healthiest relationship to my body, healthiest relationship to my mind than I’ve ever had in my entire life, but I get to impart this wisdom onto others.

Throughout the past 15+ years of my personal journey, I’ve immersed myself in vast spiritual teachings, dove deep into personal and professional development courses, invested in many mentors, and as a life-long learner committed to this journey of self-progression, I continue learning.

Bringing these skills, tools, insight, knowledge, and methodology to my clients, I teach people the powerful healing effects of real food, nourishment of the mind, body, soul through sacred self-care, and the transformation that is possible when you set your mind toward willingness and a desire to heal.

…Our struggles truly are our greatest teachings, because without them, we wouldn’t find ourselves, we’d remain blocked from our truth, and others would never get to experience the inspiration from our triumph…

Share in the comments below. What’s a struggle you overcame and how were you a better person because of it?

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