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PMM Reader Feature: Andrea Amador, The Juicy Woman

the juicy woman
Images Courtesy of Andrea Amador

The Juicy Woman, Andrea Amador, CEC. M.NLP, has been chosen as our first PMM reader to be featured on the PMM blog!

Amador is known as The Juicy Woman (thejuicywoman.com)! The curvy confident Body Image/Self Esteem Expert creates customized confidence-building and stress-relief programs for groups of women and girls.

Professionally trained in 2004 as a Certified Empowerment Coach and Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner,  Andrea works with professional women who struggle with compulsive eating and hating their bodies. She teaches them how to transform their feelings of self-hatred, shame, guilt and fear into self-compassion, pride, and kick-butt confidence. She gives women tools to step into their power, and feel sexy and sassy at every size through her coaching programs which include, Self-Image Makeover, Lovin’ the Skin You’re In, Binge Bustin’ Bonanza and The Curvy and Confident Coaching Club.

She is a rare combination of professional training and raw life experience, which gives her the edge in helping women who struggle with body image and/or abuse issues. She is the proud author of the books: Bust out of Body Shame and Lovin’ the Skin You’re In: The Juicy Woman’s Guide to Making Peace with Food and Friends with Your Body. As a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming, she sprinkles her unique blend of storytelling, spice, playfulness, authenticity and expertise and mixes it all up in her own special way to empower women and girls to love the skin they’re in.

I was very touched by the story she submitted:

“After my parents divorced, I grew up in an atmosphere filled with sexual and emotional abuse. At 10 years old, I went to live with my father and step-mother, Rosie. They gave me a wonderful home and sense of security that I’ll always hold dear to my heart. My dad inspired me to begin my study of personal development in my early teens. Despite my joy, I had a heavy heart because I was filled with shame keeping the secrets of my abuse.

When I was 23, my dad was convicted of sale and possession of cocaine and sentenced to 20 years in prison. I knew he wasn’t guilty. Without hesitation, I left NYU early and stepped in to run the family real estate business with my 80-year-old grandmother, his mom. My once loving relationship with my dad turned sour. He became bitter and angry and bullied us constantly. His nightly phone calls were toxic verbal assaults. His 20-page typewritten letters were filled with demands. Because Nana convinced me that he didn’t mean to hurt us, I just kept forgiving him wishing that he would go back to being the dad he used to be. I hated my job. I hated the tenants and I hated him. I used food to stuff down my anger. I just kept on gaining weight and I was mortified by the size of my growing thighs.

I was on call 24/7, running three residential/commercial buildings managing the needs of 110 tenant families and a 40 machine coin-operated laundromat in Manhattan’s Washington Heights. Because I had no sense of self-worth or knowledge of business, I deluded myself into believing I had no value. I allowed my father and so many others to convince me I was right. Despite having full power of signature and the ability to write myself or anyone else a check for any sum, I continued to draw a salary of $150 each week for nearly fifteen years. During that time I was a woman in power who allowed herself to feel powerless…

I had to go through 10 years of feeling sad and sorry for myself and grieving my father’s rejection in order to gain the courage to change and get strong. Today I recognize the bullies in my life have been my best teachers. They pushed me to find my voice.”

Check out my interview with this formidable curvy leader!

Natasha: You submitted a story sharing the trauma and challenges you dealt with in your life. How would you summarize what you came from and where you are in your life now?

Andrea: We are not our past and no matter how horrible our present circumstances may seem, we can move beyond them. Through my coaching, I teach my clients how to look at their biggest challenge as their most valuable gem proving how strong they really are. As the name of my company is “The Juicy Woman,” I’m not into just surviving; I’m all about thriving. I teach women how to go from being brave to living juicy.

Natasha: What was the most meaningful challenge you faced in your life? 

Andrea: Grieving the loss and being estranged from a father who I thought of as my best friend. He changed and there’s nothing that I can do about it. By accepting that, it helped me to stop asking myself “Why?” It’s been 11 years since we’ve been estranged. My biggest challenge has been releasing all of the sadness I felt that kept me believing I was powerless for so long. When I realized that my family and my marriage were crumbling under the weight of my depression, I finally gave myself permission to feel enraged and get angry over the whole thing. That ended the feelings of helplessness and made it possible to let go and move on and do what’s necessary to get closure with the situation.

Natasha: Can you describe that moment where you said “enough” and started to make a positive change in your life?

Andrea: One day, a routine mammogram came back positive. During the three days of waiting for more results, I worried that the stress in my life had created cancer in my body. I knew this was possible from the research that I had done in writing my book. I learned that negative thoughts have a devastating effect on our bodies and unresolved emotions can manifest as terminal diseases like cancer and other chronic illnesses. The book, “Getting Well Again” written by O. Carl Simonton and his wife, Stephanie-Matthews-Simonton documented their findings as oncologists working with cancer patients. They discovered that people who suffered hardships like abuse, betrayal and abandonment were more likely to develop cancer if they held onto resentment and anger and refused to forgive. This negative focus weakened their body’s will to live. When I remembered that, I said, “Enough.”

Natasha: What is the story behind writing and publishing your book, “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In”?

Andrea: I learned the devastating effects of having a poor self-image so I wanted other women to gain wisdom from my experience. I wrote my book, “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In: The Juicy Woman’s Guide to Making Peace with Food and Friends with Your Body” because far too many women think that their bodies are the problem or that they’re not good enough as they are. They end up putting themselves down and minimizing their achievements. We deprive ourselves of our own love. Dragging around a low self-esteem makes you vulnerable to a lot of heartache. You end up looking for love in all the wrong places, desperately trying to get it from people who aren’t capable of giving it. I teach the reader how to treat herself gently and lovingly and I guide her along the path to trust herself. Overall, I wrote the book to empower curvy women to see themselves and their bodies as worthy and wonderful, deserving of love and respect so that they can step into their power and stand strong instead of always having to rely on crutches like food and other things to make them feel better.

Natasha: Given your experiences, what are all the services you offer?   

Andrea:  I specialize in coaching women struggling with food and body image issues. Here’s a short list of some of the challenges that I have resolved for my clients: cravings, motivation to exercise, installing healthy eating choices and habits, feeling safe around forbidden foods, releasing body insecurities, facing rejection, preparing for job interviews, releasing body shame, fear of being judged, bouncing back from body shaming, fitting room frustrations, coping with rejection, painful memories, traumas, building confidence to wear shorts and sleeveless tops, releasing sexual blocks, increasing sex drive, enhancing creativity, performance anxiety, speeches and cold calls, overcoming shyness, coping with difficult people, dealing with depression, putting the freeze on hot flashes, and overcoming procrastination.

I have a lot of personal experience that I bring to the table that makes me a real asset to my clients. But it’s my professional training that makes my coaching unique. Back in 2004, I graduated and earned a certification from the Institute of Professional Empowerment Coaching. I am an Empowerment coach (IPEC). In addition, I am a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Ericksonian Hypnosis. I earned my certifications through The NLP Center of New York and The Dynamic Wellness Center. NLP is a branch of Psychology that focuses on empowering people to perform at their best.

In my “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In” program series which runs several times throughout the year, I focus on giving my clients the tools they need to transform their relationship with food and their bodies.  I teach them how to eat real food so that they can get slimmer and healthier without dieting. In January, I’ll launch my Curvy and Confident Coaching Club which will focus on teaching women who feel self-conscious and uncomfortable with their bodies how to feel sexy and sassy at every size.

I provide a range of monetized options that include my courses, teleclasses, webinars, one-on-one private coaching sessions, group coaching sessions, retreats, books and audios. I also have several free options to sample my coaching through my radio show, my Facebook Group and weekly Google Hangouts.

Natasha: What are the biggest challenges that your clients face?   

Andrea: Finding time for themselves and feeling comfortable without the regiment of a diet are the two biggest challenges my clients face.

Natasha: What advice do you have for other women who are trying overcome challenges in their life?  

Andrea:  So many women grew up saddled with a diet mentality. Diets reinforce a negative self-image because they keep us hating our bodies and that perpetuates the guilt and gorge cycle that fuels overeating. The truth is your body is not the problem, but hating yourself is. If you hate your body, you’ve got to stop focusing on what you’re eating and how much you’re exercising. Start looking at your life. That’s the place where you need to cut the fat. I teach women how to use a variety of stress relief methods, including EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. My experience taught me that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. I encourage women to let go and forgive themselves and others so they can live life without the weight of anger, hurt or resentment. That’s real freedom.

Natasha: If you could go back in time and advise yourself, how old would you be and what would you say?   

Andrea: To be honest, I wouldn’t change anything. I’d probably want to talk to my 11-year-old self and remind her:

  • “You’re so smart and talented. You can do anything!”
  • “Other people’s opinion of you is not who you are!”
  • “Don’t ever let your light go out!”

Like Andrea, you too can recognize when you have to break away from the things that are holding you down. It is never too late to make changes in your life that will result in you being happier and healthier!

We Thank You Andrea for sharing your story and inspiring us with what you have overcome and accomplished! Here’s some links to learn more about Andrea:

The Juicy Woman website: http://www.thejuicywoman.com

“Lovin’ the Skin You’re In” Radio Show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/the-juicy-woman

The Juicy Woman Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thejuicywoman

“Lovin’ the Skin You’re In” FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/428803213807950/

“30 Days to Lovin’ the Skin You’re In” Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/431432387054837/

Andrea Amador Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/andrea.amador.980

The Juicy Woman Blog: http://www.thejuicywomanblog.com

Google+ Page Andrea Amador: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AndreaAmadorTheJuicyWoman/posts

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