As many of you know, I have been working towards getting my book published for some time. Like any life vision, fear would step in, I would question myself, and almost try to get in my own way (see my post Why Borders Made Me Teary Eyed). But, whenever I felt fearful, I would visualize and hold stronger to my faith.
Where there is faith, fear can not exist, right?
So, I kept going, because I just knew with every fiber of my being I had something to share- my story in written word, the lessons I've learned from working with thousands of women, in printed written word, with a hardcover, with color, with illustrations, with humor, with tears, with honesty...a book that you can touch and turn pages, take in the bath with you, cozy on the couch with, bring to the beach, share with a girlfriend.
To be honest, I began this book quest with a concept: Finding Balance. This idea came to me after taking a series of coaching courses, and realizing that the idea of “perfectly balancing life” is ridiculous. Finding balance isn’t about being perfect, but rather about embracing imperfection. We must find balance from within. And, we are most in balance when we live in the present moment, when we love, accept, and nurture ourselves & others, when we are creating our vision, when we use our unique gifts to serve the world, and when what we dream happens when we are awake.
Let me explain. I had been on a search for balance probably since birth, but I can really remember it beginning in high school. I was always juggling a lot of things, working at the mall, school, activities, friends, boys, diets - COUNTLESS diets, too many to mention. In college, instead of gaining the freshmen fifteen, I gained the freshmen fifty, sixty, seventy, soon after eighty pounds and became victim to the dieting wheel of frustration, graduated into the world of work-aholicsm , dated a series of awfully uncommitted men, and ended up with a scary health diagnosis of borderline diabetes after gaining back fifty pounds for the fiftieth time.
Then I realized I really didn’t have any sense of balance in my life, I didn't love myself the way I loved friends or family. All of those things were in check. What was way off-balance was how I took care of me. Lightbulb.
Little by little I redefined success, perfection, nurturing. I threw away diet books, vowed never to ask my mom if my butt looked big in jeans (hard to do that one- it took years!), and basically peeled back layers and layers of overworn past experiences that were weighing me down.
So what if the popular girl tried to hairspray my hair to stand straight up while I was asleep at the Franklin Institute at my Girl Scout trip in 5th grade? Shed it. Who cares if Mr. Wonderful turned into Mr. Wonder Why He's Not that Into Me Anymore? Let it go. Or that the sales clerk judged my “pretty face” and "ugly body" (her words-- not mine)? In the trash.
I knew I was more than the experiences, and that these experiences should not define me. Ok, so my inside-out transformation didn’t happen overnight, but I can honestly say something in me shifted in a single moment, and just like that my eyes opened wider and my life changed. I felt like I viewed myself differently. I walked taller, I took time for me, I thought about my thoughts and immediately changed the ones that made me feel heavy.
I had a calling to work with women, and have spent the last decade doing just that: from owning Curves franchises, to teaching workshops, to coaching clients, to hosting the podcast show 'Girls Night Out', to working as Chief Creative Officer for the non-profit, Enchanted Makeovers...
So, after spending most of my life battling with balance & self-esteem issues, and working with thousands of women who had similar stories, I knew I had to share a different message with the world - about defining your own meaning and method for balancing life and balancing the scale! The book is about ditching the 'dieter's mentality' and all of the self-loathing that goes along with it and includes incredible tips and stories from real women, as well as my B.A.L.A.N.C.E principles for living an inspired, healthy, happy life!!
The journey of writing this book has not been an easy one. As a matter of fact, over the years I received 40 "rejection letters" from agents refusing to even represent the book. I feel very blessed for the people who came into my life and introduced me to my current agent who believed in me and my mission from the start. She worked with me for 2 years before we finished the proposal and submitted to publishers!
And now ---
Pinch me!! I am SO SO SO excited to announce that HarperOne (Harper Collins) will be publishing my book!! Let the next chapter of my journey begin!!