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My Journey to Clarity

We interviewed three coaches for our ‘Clarity’-themed July (Vol. 11) newsletter Cover Story. Aimee, Tisha and Lydia are now helping people with issues that they personally struggled with before. Here, they share their personal journeys and what they’ve personally cut off from their lives.

Certified health, life and addiction recovery coach
Founder of Tangram Wellness (www.tangramwellness.com)

“I struggled with bulimia and an alcohol use disorder in my teens and 20s, as well as a reliance on a prescription medication to manage depression and anxiety. Today I have nearly nine years of full and sustained recovery — nine years of freedom! My husband will tell you, however, that I’m addicted to buying books, and that’s probably true. I noticed that I was spending too much time on social media during my pregnancy, so I quit Facebook and haven’t gone back.

“Through my long journey of recovery and healing, I realized that there were gaps in traditional treatment approaches, and that treatment for women had not been differentiated from treatment for men — even though the roots of addiction, its physiological impacts and the experience of recovery are all vastly different for us. I now work with women on addiction recovery and behavior change, which is about walking alongside my client on her journey while providing strengths-based support, motivation, encouragement and insight.”

Certified health coach and trained psychologist
Founder of Wellness with Tish (www.wellnesswithtish.com)

“I personally suffered from distorted body image. Even at 37kg, I thought I was big, because I was overly focused on areas of my body that I didn’t like. I would over-exercise and starve myself for days, then binge in secret. Since my hunger and satiation signals were no longer working, I would stuff myself until I could no longer physically fit any more food into my body. Afterward, I would feel depressed, anxious, and disgusted with myself. Then the starvation-binge cycle would repeat. I was miserable. I couldn’t go out with friends or family because I couldn’t eat in front of them. My hair was falling out, my nails were brittle. When I first started eating again, I had to remind myself that the focus was recovery rather than how I looked. Now, I’m using my experiences and struggles to help others.

“An eating disorder is a cognitive disorder which is never fully cured. Even sometimes now, after all these years, it rears its ugly head, eg when I feel guilty for not eating perfectly or worry about weight gain. The key is reminding myself that food shouldn’t be a struggle — it is fuel that provides me with energy to do the things I enjoy doing; it is nourishment that enables me to help others and to be my best self. Is it love when I can share it with people who matter most to me!”

Career transition and business coach
Founder of Screw the Cubicle (www.screwthecubicle.com)

“I used to earn a six-figure salary and the perks of travel in my old job, but I was working 70 hours a week and always bringing work home. When I broke it down, I was earning less than my assistant per hour! My own struggles, identity crisis and transition eventually led me to helping others wanting to escape the shackles of conventional work. I’ve now been based in Bali for five years, but with technology I’ve coached hundreds around the world.

“In my business, I make it a point to take stock with my team every 90 days — what have we done, what did we do right, what did we not like, etc. That helps us have clarity on what we do next. Personally, when I need to gain clarity, I try to cultivate space to do nothing, to be more grounded in how I feel. Something it helps just to leave the computer and go for ride on my scooter, or to read an inspirational book or take a hobby class that has nothing to do with business, where my brain isn’t congested with business problems and worry. When I feel better, not stressed or resentful, I have better clarity and creativity when I come back to the problem.”