THE FULL BODY STORY
NOT YOUR AVERAGE TRAINER'S STORY
You might expect my story to start with a laundry list of childhood sports accolades and varsity letters. Because isn't that how every trainer's story goes?
But the truth is that I was never really all that interested in sports when I was younger. Sure, I tried a few things (soccer, track, tennis) but I didn't feel too excited by any of them. And as I grew up, I began to look at what my body wasn't doing for me.
LATE BLOOMER CHALLENGES
I saw my friends’ bodies changing, their weight shifting to create curves I didn’t have. I felt self-conscious, I lacked confidence and I thought my body just didn’t measure up.
My modest upbringing and love of making things with my hands (my mom taught me to sew at an early age) led me to dream of a career in fashion. And so I went on to study fashion design at the Rhode Island School of Design.
WOW, YOU'VE LOST WEIGHT!
As I headed into college, I gained some weight. While the weight gain was pretty standard for a college freshman, the added pounds were unnerving for me. I felt so disappointed in myself. And I felt the need to correct my "mistake." So, I began dieting for the first time.
I lost ten pounds before summer break and returned home to so much praise and positivity from others, that I began to see losing weight as a path to confidence.
"If I wasn't blessed with curves, then I might as well be a clothes hanger"
... I thought as I began to sink into an unhealthy relationship with food and an even more destructive relationship with my body.
Hip bones protruding, my body's internal cycles shutting down, and no end in sight, I found myself feeling as if I had no way out. I weighed myself daily (sometimes far more than that...) and graduated from college 5'7" and weighing 102 lbs.
"FINE" FROM THE OUTSIDE
After college, I worked my way into what looked on the outside like a perfectly awesome career working for Lilly Pulitzer, Ivanka Trump, Destination Maternity, Nautica and others.
While I kept things going in my career, my mind was fixated on the numbers: My weight, my clothing size, how many mini carrot sticks I had for a meal, how many social invites I turned down because eating (in public!) was too much to navigate.
My stomach was empty, but my mind was full of self doubt.
THE DISCOMFORT ZONE
One evening, lying awake because I went to bed far earlier than anyone might, I began to think about why I couldn’t fall asleep.
And for the first time in a long time I was straight up with myself: I turned down another social invite. Even if I hadn’t, it wasn’t like I had the energy to go out with my friends anyway. I just wasn’t comfortable “out there”.
And I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin either. So if I wasn’t even comfortable in the body I built, why was I staying stuck this way?
The more I thought about that question, the more I saw the prison I built myself for what it was.
My friends seemed to wander through the world happy and enjoying everything from dinner out to coffee-shop chats on a Saturday afternoon to drinks and apps on “girls night out”.
But here I was laying out on my bed, head spinning, wiped-out, but unable to sleep. I was hungry, exhausted, and terrified to do anything, be anything, for fear of what my mind would tell me about who I was when I did.
At 24 years old, I just wasn’t free.
But I desperately wanted to be.
And that’s when I began to dig my way out of bed, out of fear, and into the life I was truly meant to live.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OVERNIGHT SUCCESS
Of course, my transformation could have happened overnight. But that evening in bed began a six-year journey for me. And it’s a journey I’m honestly still on today.
I cultivated a new and revolutionary relationship with my body, with food, and with my thoughts about who I could be.
I sought guidance and listened to my own intuition as I began to eat and move and think for myself... for the first time in a long time.
LOVE AND SUPPORT PAVE THE WAY
My boyfriend (and now husband) reminded me of my beauty and strength and he helped me empower myself to see those things in who I was every day.
He even encouraged me to try weight training. And while a younger version of myself would have rejected even the possibility of adding “bulk” to my frame, the new woman I was becoming was willing to give it a try.
Have you ever noticed that the first step is the freaking hardest?
Well, that was true for me.
But once I took that step, I was pretty unstoppable.
I dove in and learned all I could about weight training. I began an MMA-based conditioning program with a group of inspiring women. And my body transformation began.
I worked out, I built definition, and finally had some curves. I began to hear my body speak over the noise of the number on the scale and my mind grew stronger as my body did the same.
And because my new workout routine required some serious energy, my relationship with food would heal right along with the one I was renewing with my body.
LEAVING THE DISCOMFORT ZONE FOR GOOD
After about 8 years in the fashion industry, my heart and body were exhausted.
You’ve heard of burnout?
I was living there.
So, I decided to take on a job at my local Lululemon while I figured out what was next. The seasonal job became an 18-month position and I honestly discovered more about herself and my true calling during that time than I had in all my time working in fashion.
Working there allowed me to find myself networking with local health, fitness, and wellness leaders and earning my personal training certification too.
Feeling closer to where I was meant to be, I became “Coach Liz” as made the transition into full-time personal training.
FINDING MY OWN WAY AND HELPING YOU DO THE SAME
As I learned more about this woman I was becoming, I started to really love what I found.
I was finally free as I defined my own sense of balance with a workout that included bodybuilding, Megaformer, and cardio. I mixed pilates, yoga, and even boxing in for variety and to this day I’m always exploring new ways to stay fit and healthy.
I also decided to define for myself what was truly beautiful and feminine. I adorned my body with tattoos and defined a sense of style that was all my own, including my signature brightly colored hair.
My body journey taught me to choose love and respect over judging my body and to choose the mental challenge of a tough workout over the fearful prison of staying within my comfort zone.