There are a few things I simply do not do:
- I do not make New Year’s Resolutions. I am an angel all year, so there is no need.
- I do not watch mindless TV, I read books..some of which are fictional and possibly far-fetched (Outlander!) but none of which are actually mindless.
- I do not “diet”. I don’t believe in them, generally speaking. Also, I have little self control, less self discipline and even less of a desire to feel guilty when I slip or don’t measure up. Dieting just sounds like sawdust to me, and I’ve worked in a lumber mill and I just don’t want to go back to sawdust.
- I recently resolved to focus this year on folding and putting away the laundry as it comes from the wash (as opposed to days later when it pretty much needs to be cleaned again). This seems somewhat achievable, at least for this week.
- Yesterday I got on the scale and began to consider if a change of intake might be something to posit and if self discipline maybe should be an actual action, not just a potential resolution.
- And this morning I found myself watching the Today Show—while folding the clothes, unsurprisingly.
One of the commentators–I think it was Natalie Morales–was talking about a 3 day diet she is undertaking, which more or less involves only liquids. “I had to call my friend and tell her that I ate 3 bites of chicken,” she exclaimed. She felt guilty. Thus proving my point, but leading me to think about Lisa Consiglio Ryan.
I met Lisa in 2015 when I was interviewing her for a story in my newspaper column. My first impression of her was that in the desert that can be our chaotic suburban lives, she is a pool of beauty, serenity, positivity and creativity.
I admire her greatly. She is ambitious and smart. She wants to progress both personally and professionally. She is willing to do the work necessary to move forward and to achieve what she has in her sites. She understand that life is for the long haul, over the long term. And she does all of this gracefully.
Consiglio-Ryan worked for fifteen years as a teacher in Prince George’s County. For much of that time she was plagued with chronic and debilitating illnesses. Although doctors recommended major surgery, she sought alternative methods.
“Interestingly, because I wasn’t overweight, my friends thought I was a very healthy person. But I was a chronic dieter and I was very sick. As I progressed in alternative therapies, I realized that instead of letting food be my enemy, I could use it as a tool to achieve total health.”
Today, Lisa is a certified health coach, the owner of a very successful lifestyle coaching business aptly named Whole Health Designs, an avid fan of juicing and detoxing, although not of dieting, and a moderator, mentor and lifeline for thousands of people who contact her for help with seasonal or periodic detox programs. Her website is filled with recipes she creates herself for juices, smoothies and foods full of dense nutrition. She teaches cooking classes. And in 2015 she realized her longtime dream of writing a book. Go Clean, Sexy You is an easy-to-read, insightful and thoughtful collection of recipes, ideas and advice for leading a fuller, happier, cleaner and yes, sexier life at any age.
For all of these reasons, and one hundred more, Lisa is this week’s Woman of the Week. Here are her details, and some insight into why and how she pursued a healthier, fuller life.
Home City, State: I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but I have lived in Annapolis for the last 20 years.
Marital Status: I am married to Kevin—we have been married for 14 1/2 years.
Children: 2, Kate (12 ½ ) & Jack (11)
Education: BS in Developmental Psychology (1991), MAT (Master in the Art of Teaching)- 1992, University of Pittsburgh, Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (2010)
Class of: 1991
Greatest Source of Pride: My two kids, Kate and Jack… I’m over the moon proud of them.
Greatest Source of Aggravation: being bored
Favorite Quote: “Treat yourself like you are sacred… because you are.”
Greatest Passion: being outdoors especially on the water (surfing, SUP, beach, sun and sand); travel
Defining Moment: When my 3 year old daughter caught me not eating… I was struggling with disordered eating and body image issues at the time. She said, “Mama, why aren’t you eating with us?” I called a therapist and got help immediately and this moment has lead me to my beautiful life and business, free from food issues and negative feelings about my body.
Advice to women younger than I: Let go. Life has your back and all is well.
What is beauty and how does it define me: Beauty used to be based on attention and comparison, but as I grow, beauty is being truly at ease, comfortable in one’s skin. True beauty is kindness and being willing to love hard… the gorgeous soul inside shines fully outside.
Fun for me is: laughing uncontrollably with my kids. They are so funny. Fun is also going inward, journaling, writing… learning all I can about different subjects (art, cooking, people, business)
Right Now I Am: at ease
How that came to be: After years and years of struggling, inviting chaos into my life (mainly by my thoughts… the mind sure can be powerful and fearful at the same time), I am choosing easy things… only doing things I love, hanging out with people who lift me up, saying NO to events, social gatherings that aren’t a HELL YES. It takes practice and I’m still learning but it gets easier each time. Feeling at ease is like a drug and I want more.
What that says about me: I am resilient and positive.
Best Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Women of Any Age?
Tip #1: Drink water. A lot, a lot, a lot of water. Half your body weight in ounces a day.
Tip#2: Use sunscreen. Always.
Tip#3: Eat anti-inflammatory foods as much as possible (greens, veggies, fruits, etc.. help you glow!) and avoid foods like sugar, caffeine that suck your energy and make you look older than you are. No one wants that!
“Love is my gift to the world. I fill myself with love, and I send that love out into the world. How others treat me is their path; how I react is mine.” Dr. Wayne Dyer
Lisa emailed me yesterday to tell me that she loves another quote, and though she was worried the language might be a little harsh, she remembered my Brooklyn roots…
“ My number one rule when striving to achieve more is…
Slow the fuck down.”
~ by Lena Headey (Game of Thrones, Cersei Lannister)
Lisa has offered me several recipes, which can be found here. You can find more of course, in her book and on her website.Feel free to share...