How to shed body shame, boost your confidence, and bring your full self to life

She was cast as a hippo in a ballet. She spent years chasing the body ideal that was unhealthy and unsustainable. Elyse shares what she learned on her journey as a dancer and fitness instructor about overcoming body shame, boosting confidence, and bringing her full self to life.

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“The message that skinny equals happy was so ingrained in me,” Elyse said.

Her mom has been on every diet, from the grapefruit diet to the carrot diet. Her grandma would look at Elyse when she was super skinny and light up: “You look skinny!” And when she didn’t look super skinny, she would day, “You look… healthy.”

When her grandma got tongue cancer and had only 1/3 of her tongue left and lost a ton of weight, she said: “It’s the best thing that happened to me. I’m finally at my ideal weight.”

Elyse has been a dancer since age 3. Leotards. Type casting for parts in a ballet about animals. She was cast as a hippo. She was not overweight, but she was curvier than other girls. She remembers that moment, looking around the room from inside the hippo costume… She remembers “a deep feeling of shame… Almost like everyone in the room knew something about me that I didn’t know.”

Her story brought up a memory for me. I was in a school gym class… Maybe I was 10, or 11, or 12… Looking around at all these naturally skinny girls in shorts. I was embarrassed to wear shorts. I felt my thighs were too big.

I was not overweight, but I wasn’t super skinny. I remember sitting there on a gym wooden bench, uncomfortable in shorts, looking down at my inner thighs, lifting them off the bench and pressing them together, so they would appear thinner. When no one was looking, I would pinch and pull on the flesh, wishing it would go away, magically disappear, so I too would have the holy grail of a thigh gap… It was a deep desire, from the bottom of a child’s heart.

Have you ever felt body shame? Have you ever judged another woman for the way she looked? (Maybe not out loud, but in your mind?) Have you ever judged yourself for not having “the right” kind of body? Have you ever judged yourself for judging other women?

Gawd! It’s been so messed up, growing up a girl in this patriarchy.


So much healing for us to do.

Speaking of healing, in this episode, I share about my experience at Mama Gena’s ( Mastery weekend in NYC. If you don’t know Mama Gena, give yourself the exquisite pleasure of discovering her blog and her books, and The Womanly Arts Experience. It will change your life. It has changed mine.

Tune in and hear all about it.

Along with Elyse’s story of healing her own body shame, getting off the treadmill of that “body ideal” that she could never realistically maintain, and reclaiming her health, her beauty, her vitality… And her tips on how you too can bring your full self to life.

Oh, the sweet feeling of shedding the shame and feeling comfortable and joyful in your body!


Links and Resources:

Visit her website

Discover your Fast Track to Fit & Flexible

Learn how to create an effective at-home workout routine you’ll love (and want to stick to) with Mindful Fitness Coach, Elyse Sparkes.

Throughout this 2 week course you’re going to easily start working out at home, build strength, endurance + flexibility, and boost your confidence so you can be on the fast track to feeling great in your body and your mind.

Instagram: @elysesparkes


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What did you think of the personal stories Elyse and I shared on this episode, about our relationships with our bodies, stemming from patriarchal conditioning? Do you think this conditioning shows up only in a woman’s relationship with her body or, perhaps, in other areas of her life and business as well?

Check out my recent blog, 3 Reasons Why Women Entrepreneurs Have to Work Much Harder for Success and share your thoughts in the comments. At the end of the video, I share with you my very special invitation to a very special community, Her Success Space. Watch now or read a transcript to learn how it’s helping women entrepreneurs remove the inner and outer barriers to success once and for all.

If you’d like to learn more, shoot me a quick email at I’ll be happy to chat with you about it. I look forward to helping you create the business and life you love by reprograming your body-mind for success.

I look forward to connecting with you soon!


Until then,


Stay in your heart.



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