I’m a Mayo Clinic- and National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Forbes columnist, National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, and author with three books on the shelf—but I can’t tell you what “health” or “wellness” should look like for you. I can’t tell you what gets you out of bed in the morning either. Those things are yours to define in your own distinctive way.
I won't ever tell you what you "should" do, but I can give you the tools to figure out what you're craving and how to act on it.
I’ve spent 20 years helping people manage or overcome fatigue, anxiety, stress, weight struggles, poor body image, chronic pain, sleep and digestive problems.
There is no magic bullet, but we all have easy access to a definitive, much-neglected source of intelligence: our bodies. We have remarkably attuned central nervous systems that send consistent messages about the decisions we make and the ways we adapt and cope.
Our bodies offer the information we need to thrive, but, often, we're so busy trying to control our every move that we can't hear those dispatches from central command.
If we give ourselves a break from the incessant noise about what we're doing "wrong," we can learn how to respond to our needs with targeted, healing reinforcements.
My mom is an epidemiologist, and my dad is a theologian. I grew up torn between science and philosophy, but I landed in the arts. I was a theater nerd who became a cocktail waitress and office temp with an eating disorder and depression. I’ve also been a human resources coordinator, street mime, songwriter, fruit wholesaler, and magazine columnist. In 2003, I went back to school part-time at UCLA to study nutrition, anatomy, physiology, and eastern philosophy. In my 20s, I started out as a personal trainer, not to conquer my body, but to make peace with it—and I’ve been working on that riddle ever since.
To escape the uneasiness, I tried, first, to manipulate my body… then to accept it, and finally to respond to it.
In 2018, on my book tour for Physical Disobedience, I spoke with readers about fueling our bodies as agents of change, but, talking with those folks, I realized that we are so STRESSED, our nervous systems are howling at us. To affect lasting change on a personal or global scale, the only viable path forward is to honor our aches, pains, limitations, and "bad" habits—utilizing them to identify our needs and meet them with relief.
It's spectacularly simple, but hard to do when your body is the enemy.
My newest book, The Habit Trip: A Fill-in-the-Blank Journey to a Life on Purpose, is an interactive, Shel Silverstein-inspired, fill-in-the-blank storybook that teaches the art of behavioral health—because why not? We’ve tried all the grim, draconian ways to change (and the perky, hyper-vigilant ones too), and those haven’t worked out all that well. Sometimes we need a little playtime to dance with what's possible and identify strategic, personalized ways to make it happen. This book is a sun-bleached roadmap through ten areas of life to help you identify what’s working, what’s not, and what you want to do about the areas that aren’t.
In the end, we’re headed home—to our bodies, our instincts, our intelligence, and our collective pursuit of something worthwhile.
We all deserve peace, power, and pleasure. It starts by feeding ourselves, meeting our needs, recognizing and nurturing the beauty in the wildly diverse communities all around us.