Change From the Inside Out

The part of my weight loss story that I don’t usually talk about is that it was not all my diet.


Most of my physical transformation came from within, and there were three key things that contributed to it. The first one was that I saw myself as worthy through someone else’s eyes. The second was that I decided I no longer wanted to let a “sweet tooth” control me. The third change was that I found a passion for dance. So after following Weight Watchers for several years, but still struggling with wanting to eat at times when I was not actually hungry, these three things coalesced to allow me to switch from the diet mindset into a healthy living mindset.

Today I want to explain the role dancing had. It was more than just exercise in this case. In college and graduate school I had taken a few ballet classes and enjoyed them but I wasn’t passionate abut them. After I had kids I restarted dancing -by going pole dancing. In my kids coop preschool there was a rumor that there was such a thing as pole dancing for exercise. Discussing this in hushed voices while the kids played and were hopefully not listening, one of the moms gave us the inside scoop. She had gone to a party, worn stilettos, dances around a pole and after a drink she felt she could do this.

Something inside me whispered -do that… But where? How would I find a party like that? and what would my friends think of me? And then the city recreation guide came in the mail. With a pole dancing class. Well, I thought, if it is in the Parks and Rec guide, I can surely do that. So I signed up…

I arrived at the first class, held in a curtained room behind a respectable pilates studio, with other women like me. Not particularly fit, middle aged, regular women, mothers of small children and teenager. In that class I felt my body come to life through the movement. I felt that my imperfect flabby unfit body could move and entice me. I was incredibly sore the next day because pole dancing really is gymnastics for grown ups but my body felt alive! My libido felt alive. There, I said it. I felt sexy all over after dancing to sultry music for an hour.

Week after week we would scurry into the curtained room and learn moves with names like “The betty up” and “fireman”. We learned to climb, and twirl and move in ways that were both sexy and pretty while extremely challenging. After several months it was decided that we would have a small performance for our friends. That performance brought out a new part of myself I didn’t know existed.

When I walked out on stage, with my short shorts, bare flabby midriff, and sparkly hat on I thought I was going to throw up. But somewhere inside I felt the courage rise and a voice telling me “They’re not out here doing it, you are! Show them what you are made of!” And I did, I made eye contact, I enticed, I bodywaved, betty booped, rolled my hips and did the bend and snap and it felt great.

I continued pole dancing for a long time after that, doing more performances even at a local restaurant in town. I started ballroom dancing and then salsa dancing. I joined a performance group and dance salsa still. There are still many tricks in pole dancing that I feel I cannot do and I wish I had time to pursue it more but in the mean time I keep dancing. I know that I will always dance in some way. This is what connects my spirit to my body.

When I have clients who want to lose weight to feel healthier or have more energy or even to have more confidence in their appearance, I want to help them do that. And of course part of it is changing your behavior around food. But part of it, a big part, is committing to changing from the inside.

If you are interested in finding out how we can work together to create your life with vitality and purpose, send me a note at jacqueline(at)transformingshape dot com, or book a free discovery session with me.

The exquisite is in the ordinary

Today was busy.


Tournaments, up at 6, driving, coaching calls, dance rehearsals, babysitting jobs, administrative work, driving.

By the time we were all home it was nearly 7 PM and we were hungry. The girls settled in with the binge watching of the Flash on Netflix while I fixed dinner. All three of us tired, ready to check out, never really connecting today. But that’s Okay, right?! There is always tomorrow! Tomorrow with a chance to be less busy, and perhaps a chance to hear about their lives and friends, their aggravations, their tolerations, their passions and their fears.

When dinner was ready, I assumed they would grab their plates and head back to the TV. Usually that is not what we do in my house but this seemed like an exception. They were tired, hungry, and in a Flash watching binge.

They sat down at table, the Flash paused midstride to save the day. They knew I would eat at the table, and they came… To connect, to tell me about the tournament, their pastimes, their friends. To hear about how my day was.

It is easy to miss these exquisite moments when they are disguised as the ordinary but trying to identify a small moment in my day when I felt joy. That was the moment. An ordinary quick dinner, at the dining room table, with my two teenage daughters. The end of my long day restored.

23 Random things about Me

  1. I like prime numbers for lists and I prefer to save my big celebrations for prime number birthdays.
  2. I did gymnastics when I was 7 years old.
  3. I was born in Eugene Oregon and went to college there too. That was not random.
  4. I grew up in the Netherlands and Belgium
  5. I lost 47 pounds over 7 years and kept them off for 5 years. While I do believe in health at every size, I am glad that I lost the weight as it allows me to access my passion for dancing. I am now an advocate for intuitive and mindful eating, real food, and moving in ways that bring you joy.
  6. I love to dance and dance with a salsa team. We perform occasionally around the Bay Area
  7. I love the magic of watching watercolor paint dry in the unpredictable way that it does.
  8. My favorite place is the beach
  9. My other favorite place is in the trees. Any trees, but I particularly love coastal redwoods and Giant Sequoias.
  10. I want to like Yoga, but can’t seem to be consistent in attending classes. I know I would like it more if I practiced more.
  11. I have a PhD in Biophysics and Biochemistry and worked with a Nobel Prize winner for a few years after graduate school
  12. I used to dance while no one was watching, to the record (vinyl!) of The Sound of Music in the study at my grandparents house. I wanted to take dance lessons but the ballet lessons offered near me were not inspiring. I finally took ballet in College for a year.
  13. I live in a bike friendly climate and a bike unfriendly town. I still try to ride my bike and I encourage my kids to get around that way as well. I was the first person in my town to get an extra cycle attachment that I would put both of my girls on and ride around town with them. That is how I picked them up from school. I am afraid on my bike all the time.
  14. I used to be terrified of public speaking. Now I love it, even if I still get nervous, I love getting up in front of people.
  15. I can’t stand celery
  16. I started journaling when I was 13 years old. It became more of a practice to process my thoughts and live purposefully when I was 17. It saved me when I was 23.
  17. The first personal development book I remember reading was “the 7 habits of highly effective people” by Steven Covey and it blew my mind. I still think it is a classic and important book.
  18. I organize myself on paper. I have a paper calendar and use a bullet journal.
  19. I am still looking for the perfect way to integrate my bullet journal, my writing journal and my sketchbook. I doubt I will ever be satisfied. I enjoy the process of looking for the system, and continuously buy new notebooks.
  20. Intuitive Collage and creativity transformed my life even though I wasn’t looking for transformation.
  21. I never thought I would ever drink Kombucha but now I like it. When I first encountered it in 1995, my mother in law had a Kombucha culture and it smelled really bad. I refused to drink it.
  22. When I was young I wanted to win a Nobel prize. A great uncle asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and that was my answer.
  23. I studies Science because I felt I had to prove something as a woman. I still feel ambiguous about the fact that I am no longer in research or science.

A Prime Offer!

the definition of Prime

the definition of Prime

September is my birthday month and this year is a special year for me. Why? Because it is a prime number birthday. What is so special about prime numbers? For one thing they are only divisible by 1 and themselves.
The other reason I like prime numbers is that a few years ago coming upon a “milestone” birthday, I realized that we want to mark our life at decades or half decades. But that year I was not really feeling like it was a year that needed recognizing. Of course I like to celebrate my birthday, but the idea of putting in the extra work just because I was crossing a decade seemed excessive. What I really wanted was my celebration with family and close friends.
It was several years later that I felt I had experienced a year with a lot of change. That seemed like a year to really celebrate, but what was the milestone. I am not saying you need one, you can celebrate any year, in fact I think you don’t even need to wait for a birthday. But it so happened that that year was a prime number birthday, and the idea was compelling to me and it stuck.
This year, another prime year, again feels like one of big changes and a lot of growth. I am in the home stretch of my Life Coaching Certification and I have 31 days left to get 11 practicum coaching hours. (two prime numbers!) I will have another prime birthday… So this year I am playing with my prime numbers!
I want to invite 11 people over the next 31 days to spend 61 minutes coaching with me to uncover what their prime is. Let’s uncover your best qualities and how you want to leverage them, what changes you feel you need to make to feel like you are hitting your prime.. For more information or to discuss pricing contact me via email, or schedule a session at