You are beautiful just the way you are – no matter what society or anyone else says!
Ilene created Find Body Freedom (formerly BodySense) in 1992, after decades of personal struggles with weight, eating, and body image – and after trying every diet known to womankind.
For twenty-five years, she practiced as a clinical social worker in New York and Massachusetts. Ilene worked primarily with women who were struggling with similar issues, believing that if they would change their bodies, they could change their lives. They came to her with feelings of depression, anxiety, relationship challenges, and unresolved past and present traumas. They hoped that if they could change their bodies, all of these things would magically disappear or at least become less significant.
With Ilene, they soon discovered the importance of the internal work that leads to external happiness and learning to love the bodies they’re in.
Through the body’s innate wisdom, Ilene’s program helps clients build commitment to self-care and a shift from transforming body size to a focus on health and well-being.
Where did the idea for Find Body Freedom come from?
The idea for Find Body Freedom came from my own life. I was an overweight child and struggled from age five with body image, weight, and my relationship with food. I created FBF to help myself and other women stop our battles with our bodies – to learn to love the bodies we’re in and to eat with joy.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I am up early – before 5:00 and I do meditation, check my e-mail and take a power walk with my husband to the beach. What a glorious way to start the day. After a morning dance class at my gym, I have video sessions with my clients or work on program content until 5or 6 o’clock. Giving myself the gift of the ocean in the morning makes me productive.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I feel that ideas come to me through intuition and inspiration. I am inspired often early in the morning.
What’s one trend that excites you?
For so long women have seen “model-thin” women in all forms of media and on TV and in movies. We are now seeing more size and shape diversity on the big and little screens and in print. It’s encouraging – and I believe will help stem the rising tide of eating disorders in women and young girls.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m very organized – which may seem contradictory to being intuitive. But both work for me.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I was so hard on her and so critical. I would apologize for being so harsh and let her know that is loveable exactly as she is!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I embrace the innate wisdom of the body that says health comes in every size. So many medical professionals are attached to weight as an indicator of health. I’m a size 8 petite and according to height weight charts and BMI indicators, I am well into the overweight category. Many women bump up against this disparity.
It’s a challenge for individual women to find their own way to body freedom and peace.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I practice patience and persistence. And I work very hard on not taking anything personally.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I hired a publicist! And also, I have joined a number of networking groups and organizations.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I can’t say that I experienced a “failure”. But in the beginning I was lost in a sea of information – some of it good and some not so much. I was overwhelmed with that. And as a result, I got side-tracked until I found my own bearings.
And… I was technologically unsophisticated.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have a self-assessment to help women identify their struggles with body image, weight, and eating. And I offer a free consultation to help them understand the results.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
A window into me… I spent more than $100 on keratin treatments for my hair. I live in Florida and the humidity is a killer for good hair days!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Zoom – I can see clients from all over the country and hold group sessions in Zoom.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Body of Truth by Harriet Brown – if one wants to learn about another perspective regarding weight, and size, and health this book is an eye-opener and addresses the struggles of the author and many real women.
What is your favorite quote?
From Viktor Frankl… Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
- You are beautiful just the way you are – no matter what society or anyone else says!
- Loving your body and eating with joy are your birthrights.
- Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes – just look at the natural world.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.