“Ellen, first, Happy New Year! I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support in helping me get my manuscript in on time. I turned it in at 7:00 on January 3rd. They got back to me within 24 hours. They liked it very much and had some notes, so I’m starting the rewrite process…. but I don’t think I would have been able to do it without the pivotal sessions we had. I just didn’t believe I could finish on time and you walked me through it and gave me the 4-word mantra exercise, which I used throughout the days and the support to realize I’d met other difficult challenges and I could meet this one too. Which I did! You are such a talented coach! You get the first signed copy. Thank You!” *
“Over the course of the past few months I am amazed with the support and as well as the internal shifts I have made with Ellen’s support. Having been through many, many different healing modalities (partial in-patient treatment, traditional psychotherapy) it wasn’t until I worked with Ellen that real, tangible progress and empowerment came into being. Together, we tackled the heart of binge eating. I’ve learned it is not just about the space we create between stimulus and response, but the curiosity and compassion to explore what is there in order to fully heal in that space. Ellen teaches real tools for everyday living. And this journey toward self-knowledge has been life-changing. Thank you Ellen for your wisdom, compassion, and commitment. You are a friend and a blessing to know. I truly mean this from the bottom of my heart.” *
~L.H. , Michigan
“A New Life!
I had gotten to the point where I thought binge eating was going to be my way of life forever, that I was a failure, that I had no will power and instead of finding a way out I was trying to rationalize it. I was telling myself that it was just too hard to get out, that it was too much effort and I certainly could not do it, that it was all my fault and I just had to accept my situation; reacting to life in emotional ways as opposed to living it, the low self-esteem, the constant criticism toward myself, and telling myself that if I was only 5 kilos lighter my life would be better.
Then I stumbled across the A Weigh Out website, after surfing the net for a while. Initially I was desperately searching for new diets, exercise programs and detox programs. I had thought about it before, that I did have a binging problem but I thought I could exercise and diet my way out.
I decided to join the site, let me try something new, something different, let me admit that I have a binging issue as opposed to a diet and exercise problem. After a few posts and realizing that there were many people out there feeling the same way as myself I thought I was onto something.
Then came the day that I initiated contact with Ellen and arranged my first coaching session. I was nervous, I wanted to back out, I didn’t think I could talk to anyone about the way I had been living my life the past 12 years. Looking back now I am so glad that I took the step to take on some personal coaching. Having someone as understanding as Ellen, someone who has been through it all, who listens and doesn’t judge has made all the difference.
At first I thought weekly sessions would be too hard, it’s as if you need to meet certain goals by the end of each week, like a test you have to pass.
But it’s not like that, Ellen helped me motivate myself, see me for who I am, the wonderful person that I am and had been denying all these years.
Though I did get nervous before each session, the work we did during our calls was incredible. Though I am not done with my coaching sessions yet I can say that I am living life with less fear, with more happiness and openness than I have ever done so before.
Thank you Ellen, from my heart I can truly say that I am discovering the person that I am because of you. I look forward to continue working with you.” *
“I am 44 years old and had never had control of my life. When life got too hard, I would numb the feeling with food. Because I spent so many years numbing the feelings, I never learned how to be an adult and take responsibility for my life. I just kept running from reality. I never had any capacity for anything more than getting through the day. My parenting suffered, my marriage suffered and many times I considered numbing out for good.
Today, I have a life. I have MY life. I make each day, I feel each day, I live each day. I’m a great wife, a great mom, a great business owner and I get to make every day what I want it to be.
Thank you Ellen for teaching me the tools, for loving me non-judgmentally, for challenging my thoughts, feelings, words and actions, and for opening the door to the life I have always wanted. You truly have a God-given gift.
Thank you!” *
“I wanted to thank you for the time you spent with me and the other participants on Sunday for the free phone seminar. It was very informative and helpful. It also gave me a sense of hopefulness that I have taken the first step in being able to successfully deal with the complex issue of compulsive eating which has been a part of my life for a very long time. I believe I can learn effective tools and gain insight through this program.
Thank you so much for your knowledge and insight.” *
“You are just amazing! I just read Empowerment Tool #22, “Does Physical Activity Have to be Such a Sore Point?”, which I thought would be of no interest to me since I am a couch potato. I remember you mentioned in passing that you are not honoring your body when you don’t respond to its needs. I just realized that about exercise–which I think I will call body movement-it is about honoring your body. That raises it a few notches. Body image or shame have nothing to do with it. It’s about self-care and respect.
What I am most grateful for Ellen, is how you have used all your suffering to help others like me. I knew from that very first phone call I had met a soul mate. No one else has had such an impact on my life. Martha Beck gave me the hope and you provided the solution. I will be eternally grateful.” *
~Ginger, New York
“After our sessions ended I couldn’t get myself to send this testimonial because of fear. Major, major fear that set in. You see, if I sent this testimonial and gave you credit for helping to “fix” me, then I would actually have to be fixed. I wouldn’t have an excuse anymore. If I had put it out there to the world that someone gave me the tools I needed to stop binging so much, to control my emotions, and to be a more mindful person then I would be left with no cover. It would now truly be my fault if I didn’t change and that was scary to me. I figured if I didn’t give you the testimonial then I still had an excuse to fall back on if I slipped into my old ways. But you know what? You deserve the testimonial and I am finally in a place to be able to write it. You set a ball in motion that changed my life and I couldn’t be more grateful.
After our sessions ended I immediately began to spiral back downward because of the fear of doing this on my own, without your weekly support. The good news is that I bounced back using the tools you taught me. My progress slowed considerably but I always found that when I went back to the basics of what you taught me (and a few other tools I picked up along the way) that things were always ok. The most important thing you ever said to me in a session is, “it doesn’t have to be this hard.” That will never leave me.
Whenever I wanted to quit, whenever I slipped back into my old ways, whenever I felt like there was no hope for me and my relationship with food, I could hear you say those words to me and it would snap me back to realityI am the one making it hard. Food doesn’t have to be the enemy. It can be my friend and something I enjoy. No longer do I attach feelings of guilt, shame, control, chaos, or any other emotion to food. Food just is. It isn’t anything more or less.
I choose to use food to nourish my body and I also choose to use food to pleasure my senses but both are mindful acts now. I can eat a brownie and taste the brownie. Before, I used to eat a brownie and never know what it really tasted like because I was so disconnected from the act that I couldn’t find the true joy in eating a wonderfully dense, thick, chewy, chocolaty brownie. My senses are more heightened now and I realize that things I was sure I couldn’t live without in the past are things I can’t even stand to eat now that I know what they taste like. An Oreo tastes like chemicals – yuck. Yet, I used to eat them by the bagful. I find myself wanting to eat healthy things to nourish my body and because they taste refreshing and delightful. I enjoy cooking more because I cook whatever I want, without rules, and enjoy the bites until I’ve had enough. I continued seeking out resources after we stopped our sessions and have found many that have also helped me a great deal – more tools for my toolbox – but when I think about when my healing really started, it always comes back to you and, for that, I thank you.
I am more fearless now and am conquering fears that I never thought I’d overcome. So thank you again, because you have helped me to get to a place in my life I never thought I’d get to. I was on the edge and ready to jump when I first started working with you. My marriage was in a shambles, my binge episodes were at an all-time high, and I wasn’t very connected as a mother. Now my marriage is great, I rarely binge anymore, and I am a better mom to my daughter. I can definitely say that the grass is greener on this side of the fence!
I got on your website recently and learned about the recent O Magazine article. Congratulations! I wish you the greatest success in the world and am so happy that you are living your soul’s purpose and that I was touched by it. You are certainly an angel here on Earth.” *
“When I began my journey with Ellen I felt lost, out of control and heavy hearted. With Ellen’s help, guidance and support I now feel mindful, healthy and energized. I gained control, lost weight and found myself in the process. I am truly grateful for the tools she shared with me and the lessons she taught me. It was a wonderful experience that I would highly recommend to anyone who is ready to do the work.”
“Ellen…last month I walked over 100 miles. That seems like a lot (from here to Boston) but really not so much when you average it out! I have lost 30 pounds since Dec. 7th. I am totally grateful for feeling so good, for the tools you have given me and for my life in general. I certainly have come a long way since our first phone call, don’t you think!” *
“Ellen, I used my mindfulness skills this morning — they work!! I went from feeling worried and having hunched shoulders to feeling calm and confident with my shoulders back. I then thanked God for you and for the skills I’m learning. Then I cried — the tears were from a deep part of me that is overjoyed about my new found skills.
Thank you for the work that you do — and for being so good at it.” *
“The past 18 weeks have been the most valuable time I have ever spent on the telephone!
Thank you so much for your guidance, mentoring, and friendship. It has been so nice to have a “coach for living” with such compassion, wisdom, and empathy. I feel that our work together has been a great success and I can now practice what I’ve learned. With gratitude and fondness…” *
~A,B., Ontario, Canada
“I could not believe that once again I needed to lose over a hundred pounds, weight regained after Lap- Band surgery. I was out of control and desperately searching for something, anything that might end this madness once and for all. During this time, I received an email from Ellen offering to help me change my relationship with food.
We began working together and I discovered my excess weight was not a lack of willpower, but that I was using food to cope with life. I learned to recognize the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger.
We worked together for over six months before I lost the first pound, but during that time I was reinventing myself and my life. Ellen helped me gain the confidence to go to the gym. Water aerobics seemed like a good way to start exercising, but it had been years since I had worn a swimsuit. Ellen pointed me to resources where I could find one I was comfortable wearing. While I was in the pool exercising I watched the swimmers with envy. They seemed so free. I started swimming lessons and recently, on a beautiful spring day, I went for my swim. I felt like I had just won the lottery and I think, really, I have. I never imagined that life could feel this good.
Thanks Ellen, I could not have done this without your help!” *
“I’ve heard it said that “when the student is ready a teacher will appear”, and Ellen Shuman was that teacher for me. She listened compassionately and non-judgmentally, encapsulated the issues, and “virtually” walked me through a set of wonderful skills that literally gave me a step-by-step approach on how to deal with my feelings, change the direction of both my thoughts and how I react to those thoughts and feelings. She did this with such compassion until I understood the skills completely and could use them on my own to achieve a life I have only dreamed about!
After 25 years of seeking out help and getting to a point of knowing the “why”, but never knowing how to change things, Ellen has helped me in a matter of months put the finishing touches on what it is I need. She has given me concrete skills on “how” to achieve a balance and harmony in my everyday life. The results have been amazing and life changing. She is an awesome teacher as well as a great role model for what she teaches. She is also one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever met in my entire life.” *
~Susan, Southern California
“I have not had even close to one binge in at least 6 months (maybe more…) – until I thought about writing to you today, the word binge hadn’t actually crossed my mind in months and months – I even forgot I ever had a problem!
Just wanted to thank you again for all of your help. The lessons you’ve helped me learn really help me on a daily basis, and give me faith to know that I will always have an abundance of everything I need, which is a really comforting feeling.” *
~Jennifer, New York
“Thank you, Ellen. Thank you for the phone seminar, the handouts, and for having the courage to do it for yourself, and for teaching people hope that there are ways to be empowered in the midst of those extremely rough emotions that have been very damaging for me.
The call was very helpful, you didn’t just learn it, you lived it, and that is truly inspiring.” *
~S.D., New York
“Ellen’s program, A Weigh Out, truly was my way out after 30 years of out of control eating. Ellen, with her non-judgemental demeanor and her expertise, coached me on how to finally be free to live my life with joy.
Don’t wait 30 years if you can help it! Thank you, Ellen.” *
“I have a voice! Yes! Yes! Yes! Can’t thank you enough for the person you are helping unleash in me!
Thanks for sharing the gifts God has given you. They truly have changed my life for the better!” *
“I worked with Ellen Shuman of A Weigh Out from January to July 2009 regarding disordered eating issues and healthy weight loss. I learned about her thru local publicity (TV and newspaper), and several years ago participated in her call-in seminar to learn more about her program.
I found my work with her to be very beneficial. She has an excellent understanding of eating disorder issues, and how to coach folks to work thru the issues to address the root of the issues, and how to make sustainable changes. I achieved my goals of reducing my weight by 20 pounds, reducing my risk for diabetes (A1C levels decreased significantly), and sustaining my weight loss. Previously I would lose weight, feel deprived, and gain it back. Previously, the root of the issues were never addressed. Even psychologists and psychiatrists that I consulted over the years (primarily for other issues) lacked knowledge in this area.
The coaching and support provided by Ellen was invaluable and very useful. I highly recommend to anyone who wants to be healthier and deal with eating issues to use Ellen as a resource, especially if they are like I was, fighting a losing battle with weight and weight loss over many years. I had pretty much given up after repeated failures before, but knew I needed to do something different for my health and life. I really appreciate the tools and time and positive results that I received and have the tools and capabilities to sustain the weight loss I’ve achieved in the future. My family is also very grateful for my improved health and energy, both emotional and physical.” *
“On the list of life-changing phone calls I’ve made in my 30 years of life, my call to Ellen Shuman ranks at the top.Ellen is a natural born healer. She has helped me find my voice after years of silence and I don’t know where I would be without her patience, guidance, and partnership. As a woman of South Asian descent with a traditional Indian family, I knew that my family’s expectations had driven me to seeking control through food. My therapist never talked about this or even considered the possibility. On the other hand, Ellen knew instinctively that I needed to gain insight about my family issues to truly heal. She also studied my cultural background to be able to relate to me and my pain.
As someone who has suffered from binge eating disorder herself, Ellen offers insight, wisdom, and a formula for healing that works. And as an experienced life coach, Ellen forms a healing team with you. As a result, you never feel alone as you are learning the skills that will carry you through your hardest moments. Working with Ellen has been an irreplaceable step on my road to healing and I will always be grateful to her as a coach, teacher, and mentor.” *
“I’d like to thank you for the opportunity you gave me to take part in the telephone seminar.
It was insightful. I found it interesting and informative.
As well, I felt like part of a group, trying to understand and overcome a problem together….the fact that it was a conference call where you asked for direct feedback, and spoke from personal experience, made it very real and friendly….. thank you for sharing.” *
~Hana, Ontario, Canada