Written by: Liza Rae
How does one go from being a girl with an eating disorder to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Fulfilling her life-long dream to become a personal coach, today Isabelle Plasmeijer (and her team) not only coach people to eating disorder recovery, Isabelle is also a motivational speaker, organiser of events to help people become the best version of themselves, has two books to her name and is in charge of her very own power-team.
After coming out of a difficult relationship and losing her job too, Isabelle moved to a new town and decided enough was enough. She started writing about her struggle with her eating disorder, finished a book only to begin again, deciding it was worthless the way that it was. It needed expertise, brain-research, new insights, and most of all: how-to tools. Many interviews and added coaching exercises later, her book (loosely translated into English) “When will you knock it off?” was fact. It was the start of something beautiful.
Isabelle: “I was so proud of the book, for it was something that could be of use for others like me. So I had the book, I was a coach; I had something to offer the world. But I was scared to put my knowledge and strength into action, but then I thought: ‘I can go on and be scared but then I will never help anyone’. And that has always been what I wanted to do most, help others. So, I decided to place myself above my fear, and when I did, everything started falling into place. Within a week of my website launch, I had two clients. Two became twelve, and now three year later I have 16 Coaches working for me.”
On the lie that is eating disorder
“It is an illusion to think that only if you are thin or lean you can be happy. What I am trying to teach people is that your body is your instrument, nothing more. It doesn’t matter whether you are big, or small, or extremely fit. I believe our goal in life is to love ourselves unconditionally, not to live up to a certain body standard. Mother nature has her own plans with you anyway, from the day that you are born you are decaying. We are all mortal. We die. Hey, it’s only a matter of time before my breasts are there where my knees are and well, the more wrinkly my face gets the more stories I will have to tell. But if you don’t change the way you look at yourself, nothing will ever change.”
Spreading a message of hope
“When my final day has arrived, I won’t be wishing I had been two pounds lighter when I was thirty or had driven that big ass car. No, when I am on my deathbed, I hope my kids are with me, that the people, whom I love and love me, are there. I don’t think anyone standing at the end of the road will say they wished they had been ten pounds lighter all their life for it would have brought them more happiness. I hope to make people more aware of this: happiness isn’t in your looks.”
On withstanding a world that sets ideals
“We are being brainwashed. It is very hard to fight this, but at the end of the day you decide how much you let ‘the world’ affect you. Think about it. In the time of Rubens, so long ago, the perfect body was a voluptuous one and then there was a time women like you and me would have ended up being burned at the stake. At one point, women even used poisonous facial cream with lead to look as white as they possibly could. A kiss could mean their husband’s death! And now we’re supposed to look tanned. What I am trying to say is, every since we are here, we are doing dangerous things to live up to ideals. But ideals change. So can we. We are responsible for maintaining those ideals. They have influenced me too. But I have decided to create my own, to live by my rules.”
On the pro-eating disorder community online
“I feel about it as I feel about everything: if it feels right for someone to express herself in a certain way, it is right for someone. Would I want to see it banned? Of course, but that’s not the solution. Prohibiting something only causes more friction. Better is to try and do what I do: show the other side.
Recovery is possible!
Let’s not focus on the bad, focus on the good. I wish I could help those who are active in those communities, but people decide to look it up, or they don’t. It will disappear when there is no need for it anymore. In the meantime I’m like, bring it on. Bring it on. I’ll share my own message. I wish to inspire people, stimulate them, activate them so they are capable of unchaining and using their inner powers and to live a more happy, grateful, prouder life. Free from body-ideals.”
Written by: Liza
For a little extra encouragement, you may also like the Facebook-page.