affordable health coaching for every body
The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg feels like 2020 adding one more insult to a whole lot of injuries. Injuries that have been inflicted on every body but significantly more on marginalized and oppressed bodies.
I have to wonder whether it is a reminder from the Universe that even during these chaotic times, we cannot become complacent with “a new normal.”
Remember what my marching companion said back in 2017 when asked what happened to allow the 2016 election to turn out the way it did:
“We got lazy. The women’s movement got lazy. The civil rights movement got lazy. The labor movement got lazy.”
We’re probably not feeling lazy right now—we’re likely feeling overwhelmed. And that’s just as dangerous.
Vigilance and consistent action is required if we are to bring about change in the world, and RBG’s death may just serve to revitalize the discussion about women’s place in the h/House … and in the Senate … and on the Supreme Court bench … and in the world.
Just as we are waking up to the fact that the women’s suffrage movement was in reality not for all women, there are questions being raised about what RBG did for minorities and the marginalized. Does a rising tide, in fact, lift all boats?
There could be a lot of black-or-white, all-or-nothing thinking here, and as humans, we live (very uncomfortably) in the gray areas. It all comes back to one of my favorite language tweaks: using “and” where we usually say “but.”
- RBG did a lot for women, but she didn’t do enough for Black women.
- RBG did a lot for women, and she didn’t do enough for Black women.
The first sentence allows for only one reality—the “but” erases everything that came before it; it ends the conversation.
The second sentence allows for both statements to be true; it’s the beginning of a conversation.
For me, the Notorious RBG’s passing coincided with my discovery of another powerful Ruth—Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and with Brené Brown’s interview with Sonya Renée Taylor—a reminder to buy Taylor’s book, The Body Is Not an Apology.
(The Universe always seems to deliver in threes, doesn’t it?)
Gilmore and Taylor both call on us to continue the conversation, and both question whether capitalism is perhaps not at the root of our problems.
Gilmore’s statement that “Capitalism requires inequality and racism enshrines it” is perhaps one of the biggest mic drop moments I’ve ever encountered.
And Taylor brings it home by giving us an actionable suggestion: every time you buy something, ask yourself whether by buying it, you are causing damage. You may not be able to completely eliminate the harm done to the environment and/or the workers who produced something, and you can find the product that does the least harm.
Are you actively (or even passively) supporting the structure that harms so many bodies that aren’t “the default” (read: white, male, privileged) body?
We have the opportunity daily—not just on election day—to decide whether we want to support a system that enshrines inequality and inequity or to tear it down.
what does all this have to do with health coaching?
I’m so glad you asked!
First, Taylor’s suggestion is a reflection of what I ask of clients to do in terms of their food choices once they’ve moved to an eating style that emphasizes plants and focuses on whole foods, cooked at home, and eaten with mindfulness and gratitude: can they now consider whether the food they buy is seasonal, organic, local, and ethical—meaning, is it good for their bodies, their environment, and their community, especially those who produced it?
Second, it’s a reflection of what I ask of clients in general: can we reach a state in which all of our food and lifestyle choices are made mindfully? How can we set up our environment (internal and external) to support us in making the healthy/least harmful choices the easy ones?
And third, this week’s events and encounters have reminded me yet again of what has been a goal of mine since I became a health coach: making health coaching available and affordable for everybody—literally for Every Body.
Health coaching is not about making us conform to a specific body type, certainly not the media’s tall/blonde/thin/cisgender/straight/married-with-2.5-children default body; it’s about loving on the body we inhabit by making the best choices for us at the stage of our lives we find ourselves in.
Health coaching can feel like a luxe service—and my mission is to make it affordable to every body because we all deserve to be not just healthy but truly well—especially those of us who are out there making the world a better place. And I recognize that historic economic inequality exists and is especially oppressive for the marginalized.
make the connection
Thanks to a generous grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Small Business Restart program, I am able to offer scholarships for the October 2020 cohort of my EAT™ | Your way to health program. Those with financial privilege are asked to pay in full; those with low incomes are invited to apply for a scholarship that is tailored to their individual needs.
Intrigued? Find the program details and a link to the application here. The deadline for applications is October 9, 2020!