Name: Tania Andrade
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Home Town: Falls Church, VA
Star Sign: Scorpio (hey, some people care…)
How Did You Get Into Coaching: Funny story… I went to film school, moved to LA to become a screenwriter, developed a serious chronic illness, was dismissed by the mainstream medical community, almost died, was saved by alternative healthcare practitioners, had my life changed by a health coach, moved back to LA to become a screenwriter, couldn’t stop talking to people about food; food led to fitness, fitness led to personal growth and well… here I am, totally in love with helping people. (And still writing scripts!)
Did You Ever Think You’d Be A Coach: God no. Just the concept of “personal coaching” used to make me cringe. It’s life, don’t you just suck it up and live it? (Spoiler alert: No, you don’t.) Then again, I was young and thought I knew everything. Then I graduated college, saw my life go into a completely unexpected direction, lost three years to Lyme Disease, struggled with fear, doubt, and insecurity, and eventually realized how important it is for everyone to have someone in their lives who reminds them just how marvelously capable they really are.
What’s Your Favourite Part Of Coaching: Seeing the amazing things that happen when you take someone from “I can’t” to “I can’t, yet” to “wow, I just did.”
The Story Of How The Stats Came To Be
Once upon a time I was young filmmaker riddled with angst who thought that I’d never be happy if I couldn’t change the world with my films. Self-acceptance did not come naturally to me. Much as I had always wanted to be one of those enigmatic free-spirits that captivates everyone with their carefree joie-de-vivre, a part of me had always been a little too afraid of rejection to fully commit to reckless social abandon.
To make matters worse, on top of being riddled with self doubt and self-loathing thoughts of not being smart enough, athletic enough, creative enough, tall enough, pretty enough, you-name-it enough, I was also convinced that these were fundamental truths about me and that there was nothing I could do to change them. And so, by the time I graduated college, I thought I knew exactly who I was, simply because I was certain about who I wasn’t.
So in the spring of 2009, I moved out to Los Angeles to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a screenwriter. As it happened, the universe had other plans for me, and instead of writing a kick-ass screenplay, landing an agent, and making it big in Hollywood, I got Lyme Disease. And I didn’t just “get” Lyme Disease, I got Lyme Disease so bad that by the time I was diagnosed in 2010 (after 2 years of misdiagnoses) I could barely walk, talk, read, or write and my mom had to feed me, dress me, and generally keep me alive. In one fell swoop, everything that I had ever known to be true about myself, my life, and the modern health-care system vanished.
At the time, I thought that surviving would be my greatest obstacle. But after radically changing my diet and trying every alternative therapy under the sun, I came to discover that surviving was the easy part. Hard was having to accept the responsibility of finding happiness in a life that didn’t go according to “plan.” Hard was shutting out the voice in my head that kept wondering if I’d ever be as good as I once was before. Hard was dealing with the embarrassment of not being able to write as well as I once could and having to ask myself if I even loved writing anymore (which felt somewhat akin to acknowledging that a longterm relationship might not be mendable.) Hard was seeing my friends get promoted, get married, and get pregnant when I was twenty-seven, jobless, and with a four year gap in my resume.
Life. Life was the hard part. And what I’ve come to realize is that it’s meant to be.
All of the hardships that were keeping me from the person that I wanted to be, are the things that have unexpectedly helped me become someone better, someone capable of really making a difference in people’s lives. I’ve learned that most of our limitations are self imposed and that true happiness lies just beyond our comfort zone. I’ve learned to let go of my expectations and embrace what is instead of what “should” be, and that small changes lead to lasting growth. I’ve learned that fear exists only in the mind and that it’s conquerable. And in the process I’ve discovered that the world doesn’t need my saving, it just needs my encouragement, understanding and support.