Sarah Hays Coomer is a "diet abolitionist," a Certified Personal Trainer with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, a certified Nutrition and Wellness Coach and Prenatal Fitness Specialist with the American Fitness Professionals & Associates, and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. She believes that fitness should be about celebrating and strengthening our bodies—bringing them to life rather than depriving them and trying to shrink or manipulate them. Sarah is the author of two books: Physical Disobedience: An Unruly Guide to Health and Stamina for the Modern Feminist (2018, Seal Press/Hachette) and Lightness of Body and Mind: A Radical Approach to Weight and Wellness (2016, Rowman & Littlefield). Her third book, The Habit Trip, will be published by Running Press/Hachette in December 2020. Her work has been featured in Shape, MSN, Thrive Global, The Wall Street Journal, Utne Reader, New York Daily News, Huffington Post, Bustle, and The Tennessean, among others. She has spoken at organizations and universities nationwide including Google, Vanderbilt University, the Women's March 2019, The University of the South, the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Confluence, and the Girls to the Moon Conference.
Sarah is not interested in dictating what health or wellness look like in her clients' lives. She is interested in helping them hear the messages their bodies are sending and respond with self-directed, intrinsically-motivated behavioral changes to bolster their ambitions and support the causes and people they champion. Sarah believes that "fitness" or wellbeing is about reminding ourselves what it's like to be alive—agile, strong, and light on our feet.
Sarah lives and trains in Nashville, TN with her husband, son, and sweet pit bulls, Ringo and Moon. In addition to traditional personal training and wellness coaching, she works with populations that face particular challenges connecting with their bodies, including first time exercisers, pregnancy and postpartum fitness, obesity (teen and adult), chronic pain, eating disorders, depression, heart disease, cancer, and the elderly. She sees beauty and power in every one of their bodies and strives to help them see the same.
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"From playground to hospice, Physical Disobedience dives in to the intrinsic value of human bodies at work and at play—championing women’s bodies, in particular, as uniquely powerful in their diversity...This book decodes the many ways physiological fluency can support both happiness and progress. A must read for any man or woman who strives to stand on equal footing with everyone, regardless of gender."
— Daniel Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive and When
"A critically important, exceptionally informative, deftly crafted, impressively insightful book, a must read for every woman of every age who is concerned with their physical appearance. Physical Disobedience is an essential addition to personal, community, and academic libraries."
— Midwest Book Review
“Inspiring and compassionate.”
— Publisher’s Weekly
"One of the most powerful, insightful, relatable, and inspiring books I have ever read. Lightness of Body and Mind is for anyone who has ever struggled with food addiction, workaholism, depression, or chronic pain. With ferocious honesty about her own struggles and those of her clients, Sarah Hays Coomer teaches us how to summon our own tour-de-force to initiate and maintain change.”
— Tracy Jackson, MD, Chronic Pain Physician, Vanderbilt University
"Reading Lightness of Body and Mind was revelatory for me. Sarah Hays Coomer will heal many broken spirits and burdened bodies with this book. The approach to healthy living and weight loss is practical, holistic, and accessible to anyone. More like a guide to a life well-lived rather than a diet book, Lightness of Body and Mind inspired me to embrace forward motion and endless possibility.”
— Emily Saliers, Indigo Girls
"Coomer’s insight is startling, and her approach is gentle but effective. She turns the entire pursuit of wellness upside down to make it not only manageable but genuinely enjoyable.”
— Nikki Reed, Actor/Producer, Twilight, Sleepy Hollow, Thirteen
"Sarah is fantastic at finding out what students and faculty are thinking about and helping us understand how what we care about relates to personal and societal wellness. That would be enough, but she also helps us all move toward compassion, understanding, and peace. She is refreshingly upbeat and frank--so needed in these times!"
— Sid Brown, Professor of Religious Studies, The University of the South at Sewanee
"Sarah addresses not only nutrition and exercise obstacles but gives you a forum to work on root causes of self-sabotage and what's holding you back from success."
— Katrina Kent, Director of Events, T.D. Ameritrade
“Funny, engaging, and full of important insights and science.”
— Michelle Segar, Ph.D., Author of award-winning No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can
Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness
“Finally—a health and wellness manifesto for the rest of us.”
— Jessamyn Stanley, author of Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get on the Mat, Love Your Body
"There is hope in this book. Physical Disobedience is a dystopian survival guide, a feminist's manual that debunks, redefines and brings true beauty and health into the light."
— Mary Gauthier, musician
"At times shocking, at times laugh out loud funny, and at times hugely enlightening and insightful, Physical Disobedience will help set you on the right tracks towards health and happiness—and provide you with plenty of practical tips and know-how on how best to stay there.”
— Emma-Kate Lidbury, professional triathlete, and six-time Ironman 70.3 champion