1 post tagged personal growth
Laura Fenamore is another amazing and successful woman I’ve met via Twitter, and have had the pleasure of meeting in person several times at A Band of Wives functions, as well as local TweetUps. I can’t imagine Laura weighing 220 pounds, as she once did, because she is very fit and thin now, as you can see in this lovely photo of her. Here is Laura’s story on how she lost 100 pounds and started her OnePinky business…
Bio: Weight Release & Body Image Coach Laura Fenamore is on a mission to guide women around the world to love what they see in the mirror, one pinky at a time, so they can unlock the secrets to a healthy weight and start loving their lives as soon as possible.
Having overcome her own battle with addiction, obesity, and eating disorders, Laura released over 100 pounds 24 years ago to begin a journey to guide other women to live more joyous, balanced lives. The author of the forthcoming book Weightless: 7 Tools to Love Your Body (and Lose Weight For Good) and a frequent contributor to local and national media – including First for Women, Ladies Home Journal, the Dr. Pat Show and blog contributor on Betty Confidential, Daily Love and Positively Positive. Laura believes that self-love and self-care is where the transformation begins. Learn more about her programs, invite her to speak or contribute to your program or conference at OnePinky.com.
Peggy: Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
Laura: I grew up in New York and at 18 years young, (I will be 49 in July), I moved to California. My 1st cousins moved out here first…that’s what brought me out here. I feel like they came out to California to get me out here…that was their purpose. They went back to the East Coast, I stayed. I was going down my darkest road at that time. I had been in two car wrecks from alcoholism. I went deeper into darkness after I moved…I gained more weight, and was doing drugs and alcohol. I walked over the Golden Gate Bridge every week and thought about taking my life. One day I had a moment of clarity and as I like to say, “saw the light”. I was suicidal, fat, drunk, depressed and an angel came into my life and suggested I go a 12-step meeting. Fortunately for me, at the time, I listened and both AA and OA became my launching pad to consciousness work.
Peggy: I can’t believe that you were ever 100 pounds overweight. How long ago did you lose the weight, and how have you kept it off?
Laura: 24 years ago. I got into Overeaters Anonymous which gave me the support I needed. I was on a very strict diet, basically starving myself. I don’t recommend that way. I didn’t exercise until years later. I really got, very clear early on in my recovery, that I had to accept myself at 220 pounds before I could release any weight. I knew that if I could love and accept myself, I could release the weight for good which I did. I don’t abuse myself anymore. Through the years I have attended many different kinds of self-help groups which have supported my journey. I see that as a sign of strength not weakness. We build the foundation to our lives and then we need support systems to keep it going peacefully and healthily.
Laura: I’ve been coaching mostly women (some men) for 8 years. I started OnePinky, Healthy Weight Through Healthy Body Image, in 2009. When I was in that very dark space, right before I lost my weight, a stereotypical thin, beautiful woman named Mary told me that she hated herself. We both knew that there was something in our minds that needed to be adjusted. She and I made a pinky promise that we would love our bodies starting with our pinkies. We would appreciate what they did, vs. how they looked. Function over Form. She and I made a commitment to doing that and when it came time to name my community, since “starting small with big results” was what I am after, OnePinky felt like the right name. I know that when women try to change when they are unhappy and are war with their bodies, they begin with defeat in mind. We are not going to get anywhere if we continue to call ourselves fat and ugly.
Laura: We actually address issues around nutrition, however that is not the focus. The body can and will heal, if we give it space to uproot some of the deeper emotional issues from childhood and our lives that have been festering and being projected onto our bodies. So, a group of 15-20 amazing women from around the world and I meet on the phone once a week, for 12 weeks. We deal with the “issues in our tissues”. We look at the deeper issues that are causing us to be fixated on food, such as low self-worth, loneliness, resentment, rage, anger and unresolved conflicts from our past. As far as the weight release goes, since most women want to release weight, I offer and suggest different ways of eating for their bodies. Every single being has different dietary needs as far as food plans go…I offer a few different plans to see what resonates with them, making it as holistic as possible. When women…people, for that matter…find emotional and spiritual balance, the physical body will take care of itself and weight release will occur. It just does. I see it happen all the time. And it makes my heart sing with Joy.
Laura: Gloria Steinem. I love her calm power…she is such a powerful woman. I recently met her, and that was amazing. It’s as if she’s been your best friend for 10 years. She’s very down to earth. I want to be like her at 78…still healthily working for the cause with Joy. [Click here to read Laura’s blog post about her meeting with Ms. Steinem.]
Laura: I’m a total morning person. I try to get 8…I average 7. Up at 5 or 5:30am most days.
Laura: A Course in Miracles is my spiritual practice, and has been for 20+ years. My favorite quote is by Thomas Jefferson: The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Laura: I pray and meditate 5-20 minutes per day, depending on the day. And, I exercise every day. I love it. Off to the gym now in fact…
Laura: I pray and I reach out and ask for help. 99% of the time I lean into my partner Kathleen for support because she’s my best friend and as solid as a rock. That is why I picked her nearly 15 years ago.
Laura: Definitely dark, though chocolate was never something I was addicted to. My wife eats Equal Exchange Organic Panama Extra Dark - 80%. I used to eat a lot of Scharffenberger.Since I teach that food, including chocolate, are not the enemy, I say eat it with LOVE. It is the shame and regret that really turn it from pleasure to poison.
Laura: My business is actually my life’s assignment. I didn’t choose it; it chose me…through my life experience. I am committed to a new conversation that women have about their bodies…and that it be a loving conversation instead of the nasty, mean conversation that women tend to have. Love will create the change women are seeking, not fear, doubt, self-criticism and self-hatred. Love is the bridge from the heart to the head and my intention is to hold many more women’s hands as they make that journey.