I am sitting at Grand Central Station in New York City as I write my very first blog! Woo Hoo!! This weekend has had a lot of firsts for me:
First time I had a dance lesson at the Alvin Ailey America Dance Theater:
First time I danced in the actual studio where Beyonce rehearses:
First time I had a dance lesson from broadway dancer Robert Hartwell, currently starring in Motown:
First time I wore a pair of 6 inch glittery gold boots from the show Kinky Boots, curtesy of Juan Torres-Falcon, currently starring in Kinky Boots:
First time Project Runway’s Greg Patterson styled my hair:
First time I had a professional photo shoot on the streets on NYC.
First time I had a professional cooking lesson at the National Gourmet Institute:
So, how did I end up having all of theses firsts?
I attribute all of these events to the Chicken McNugget.
Two months ago, I was traveling home along the Mass Pike after a fun-filled weekend in the Berkshire Mountains. It was 2:00, I hadn’t eaten lunch, and I was starving. My body was craving protein.
Okay yes, I did have a high quality protein bar and a pack of almonds with me, but they just didn't seem very appealing in that moment. Oh yeah… and I was passing a McDonalds.
The tiny little voice in my mind weakly reminded me that I don’t eat at McDonalds anymore, in fact, I hadn’t eaten at a McDonald’s in years. The other more boisterous ravenous voice screamed, ‘You LOVE Chicken McNuggets. And they are protein, so it’s fine!!”
Guess which voice won?
Alright, alright, I confess - I got a pack of Hostess Ho’s Ho’s too!
And maybe some Kettle BBQ chips as well.
Twenty minutes later I was holding my aching belly, regretting my decision and desperately wishing I had mustered up the will power to have not stopped at McDonalds. I had gained 15 pounds in the last 2 years. I could list all of the very legitimate reasons why this weight gain really wasn’t my fault, but since becoming a Life Coach, I am all about taking personal responsibility. Therefore, I will spare you the pathetic excuses.
Bottom line, I had gained 15 pounds and I was quite unhappy about it.
I needed Something New. I needed Inspiration. I needed Motivation.
And then I remembered an email that I had gotten that very morning, one that I read and immediately dismissed. The email was from Susan Hyatt, one of my favorite Life Coach teachers. She's a force of nature, best known for "helping entrepreneurs make more money without feeling shackled to a desk—and for teaching women how to lose weight, permanently, by bringing more pleasure and excitement into each day, not less." Susan is at the top of her game, running a 7 figure Life-Coaching Business and doing what she loves.
I simply adore Susan. She inspires me. She motivates me.
Susan is in the process of publishing her second book entitled BARE.
In Susan's words:
BARE is a coaching program for women who want permanent weight loss.
This is not a cleanse. This is not a diet. This is a progression of steps that will show you how to live your life — and feel your feelings — without “needing” the numbing, protective shield that overeating provides.
So I sat there in the car feeling sick and tired of being overweight, and wishing that her book was already published so that I could read it right this very second.
Then I remembered the email I had gotten that morning.
Susan was offering a brand new program called BARE, NYC.
Again, in Susan's words, BARE NYC was:
A deluxe experience, including my powerful 6 week BARE tele course, private coaching, and a weekend in NYC devoted to mindful eating, moving your body with love, style, power, bravery, and sisterhood.
The program included:
- A 6 week BARE telecourse lead be Susan Hyatt
- A weekend in NYC at The Benjamin, a luxury boutique hotel in midtown Manhattan
- A cooking demo and private, chef-prepared dinner party on Friday night
- Breakfast Saturday and Sunday morning
- Unique fitness experiences where you’ll discover what feels like to “love” for your body
- Professional wardrobe styling at Bloomingdales with Elsa Isaac (stylist who has worked with Phylicia Rashad, Brooke Shields & Lenny Kravitz)
- Professional makeup with Lillian Toma (founder of StarlightMakeup, featured in R29 Mashable and NARS Former National Artist)
- Professional hair styling with Gregory Patterson of Project Runway
- A body positive photo shoot with Chelsea Sanders, Susan’s personal photographer
- Dinner at The 21 Club
- 1 private coaching session with Susan
- 3 one-on-one coaching sessions with a certified BARE coach.
Plus lots of other surprises!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!
That is insane!! Not even an option. That is CRAZY, ridiculous expensive! No way.
I immediately dismissed it.
Click, next email.
Fast forward 8 hours:
I am in my car feeling emotionally deflated, physically inflated, and depressed. That insane email popped into my consciousness. But now, instead of thinking “That is insane”, I started thinking, maybe I could do this program.
My heart started racing.
A debate between 2 voices quickly ensued in my mind:
Alarmed Little Conscious Voice: What? Are you crazy? NO! How can you possibly pay for this?
Adventurous Rebellious, Don’t-Tell-Me-No Voice: I actually could pay for this. I do have a personal savings account. I could pay for it without touching our “family budget” money. I can borrow the money from my business and then pay it back over time.
Alarmed Little Conscious Voice: How the hell are you going get to New York? You hate driving in cities! You won’t even drive to Boston which is only an hour away!
Adventurous Rebellious Don’t-Tell-Me No-Voice: I could take a train to Grand Central and then Uber to the hotel.
Then, being the good little Life Coach that I am, I checked in to see how my Body (not my Mind) was reacting to this possibility.
Heart racing, adrenaline pumping, whole body shaking with possibility.
If my body could talk it would be exuberantly shouting,
YES! YES! YES!
Could this program really help me lose this weight that I couldn’t seem to lose?
Would my life be noticeably better because I participated in this program?
Could I take what I learned and help my own clients who struggle with the same problems?
And the big question - could it really be worth all that money? It was A LOT of frickin’ money!
Serious contemplation began. I discussed it with my husband, my sister, my youngest daughter. I emailed Susan asking specific questions about the program. I journaled. And then I journaled some more.
As a Life Coach, I constantly encourage my clients to check in with their bodies and trust what it tells them. I tell them to follow their hearts, take action, dream BIG.
It was a tremendous amount of money, and it did seem a bit crazy, but... it also felt like the exact right thing to do. Now.
I took the leap and signed up.
I decided to believe that it really was an investment in myself and that it would pay off in ways that I couldn’t even dream of right now.
And I decided that I was worth it.
So… here I am, at Grand Central Station, fresh off the BARE NYC weekend, writing my first blog.
So, the big question - was it worth all that money?
And the answer is... drum roll please....
YES!! It was! Thank the Lord!!
It absolutely was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget!
And while it was amazingly fun getting all glammed up with the hair and the make-up and the new outfits, and while it was certainly super cool to do a photo shoot in the streets of New York with a professional photographer, that was not what made the program worth the money.
The program was worth it for 2 reasons:
1. I got to know Susan Hyatt, my mentor who inspires me daily. She gave me great advice on what I needed to do next in my business. I have zero doubt that with her insight, encouragement and wisdom, I will be a far better person and a far better Life Coach than I would have been had I not done this program.
2. I got to directly work with the most amazing artists and entrepreneurs who Dreamed BIG and followed their deepest passions. And despite obstacles and naysayers and haters, they never gave up on making their dreams come true. Nothing can be more inspiring than that.
At the end of the weekend, when I was saying goodbye to Susan, she said to me, “You are going to have more clients than you will know what to do with.”
Honestly, to have someone like her believe in me is the most precious gift I received the whole weekend.
This program taught me to approach life by looking for joy. Joy in movement, joy in eating, joy in how I dress. I see my body in a much more positive light than I did before. I have begun to question some of the limiting beliefs I had about food and cooking.
I can look in a mirror now and see what I like instead of focusing on what I don’t like.
I am further along the path to self-acceptance and self-love than I was before.
So yeah, in the end, it was worth it. I am happy that I did it.
And let’s not forget, I did get to wear them Kinky Boots!