For the first half of my life, I was a complete mess.
During my childhood, I used food as a substitute for love, acceptance, and as a way to feel valued. Later, during high school and college, I added promiscuous relationships to the toxic looking-for-love-in-all-the-wrong-places-cocktail.
I felt empty and ashamed and my heart became hardened from false promises of momentary pleasures. While seeking love and companionship, I found loneliness and pain. I hated who I had become.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, I became a professional pretender, fooling others that “I’m fine.”
I painted a frosted-pink lipgloss smile across my face (it was the 80’s–don’t judge me) and wore a larger-than-life personality to hide the shame and pain of an abusive childhood. And worse yet, the only friends who knew my real thoughts and feelings were Little Debbie and Betty Crocker.
I felt rejected.
I felt unworthy.
I felt alone.
I was 294lb.
But as Our God is in the business of finding us in our darkest hours, He found me at my personal rock-bottom. My scars are many, and they run deep. They are different shapes and sizes and many even have names and event dates. Yet through His grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness and healed me from the inside out.
Over the span of the last two decades, I’ve lost 120+ pounds, and through the weight loss, I have healed, forgiven and learned to love–myself and others–unconditionally and authentically.
And through the loss, I have gained.
Confidence, peace, acceptance, love, and self-worth–He’s made beauty from my ashes.
Now don’t get me wrong–I screw up all of the time and am still a mess, but now I am a forgiven, grace-filled, healed mess.
I’ve surrendered my desire for perfection and embrace my messiness as an opportunity to shine His Light and share His love.
Through these spaces, I am vulnerable and share the good, bad, and the unmentionable. And I hold space for others to feel His love, receive His grace and be healed just the same.
I no longer let shame, guilt, fear, regret, or rejection own me. I am empowered by God’s love for me through His son Jesus and have reclaimed what the enemy stole from me the first part of my life.
He made a message out of my mess.
And that message is Shine.
Beyond my testimony:
I was born and raised…
In western Pennsylvania and currently live in Cleveland, Ohio.
Teach children well…
I attended Mercyhurst College where I earned B.A. degrees in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Later, I attended John Carroll University where I received my Master’s of Education as a Reading Specialist.
We learn not for school but for life…
I believe investing in personal, professional, and spiritual development is essential for growth; I do it often and have always received an immeasurable return on my investment.
Since beginning Shine I’ve invested in numerous coaching and business programs have added Wellcoaches training to my coaching toolkit. I’ve also participated in several Psychology of Eating courses, trainings and programs to enhance my knowledge and understanding of the mind-body connection of weight, overeating, and our ever-evolving relationship with food.
I value formal education to the highest degree while sharing the sentiments of my mentor, Joyce Meyer, in saying that much of my training is from the Holy Spirit.
I take advantage of as many opportunities as possible to attend conferences, retreats and workshops to deepen my understanding of The Lord. (As I type this, I just returned from the Hillsong conference in Brooklyn, NY and will be venturing to the Joyce Meyer Women’s conference in September!)
As you can see, I have a passion for learning and continue to add to my worldly education through my faith walk, relationships, travel, experiences, podcasts, food, books, and…so much more.
Before Shine with Frannie…
After graduating college in 1997, I taught Middle School in Orlando, Florida. I then moved to Cleveland in 2002 where I was a Middle School English teacher then administrator at Hathaway Brown, an all-girls’ school, until I resigned to begin Shine in 2013. I’ve been shining ever since.
I made a vow…
Even though I have yet to walk down the aisle, I’ve made a vow.
As a near-300lb. young woman, I was intimidated by the spandex-leotard-wearing instructors and the fear of not being able to keep up with women double my age, so fitness classes were off limits.
When I began my weight loss journey, I vowed that I would one day be a healthy “real” looking fitness instructor to inspire others.
In 2004, I became an AFAA (American Fitness and Aerobics Association) instructor and have been inspiring others to take control of their health through group fitness.
I hold several fitness certifications including youth fitness, Zumba, aqua aerobics, and Silver Sneakers and am Red Cross CPR and AED/CPR/First Aid certified.
Life is not a spectator sport…
I was “challenged” during my youth. Ski boots were unbucklable and the 9th grade volleyball coach told me there wasn’t a uniform big enough for me. As a result, I lived life watching from the sidelines.
But not any more.
I maximize every day and seize every opportunity. I love to travel, lift weights, waterski, wakeboard, paddleboard, rock climb, hike, snowboard–you name it, I’ll pretty much try it!
You’re the meaning in my life, you’re my inspiration…
Author Jim Rohn says that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
While I don’t physically sit and chat with these people, a large part of my day is spent listening, reading, studying, and simply in the presence of the following:
- Jesus-I call on His name frequently throughout the day–boy, do I need minute-by-minute grace?!
- Joyce Meyer, Bible teacher
- Steven Furtick, Founder and Lead Pastor of Elevation Church
- Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling
- Pastors John Gray (Lakewood Church) and Judah Smith (The City) are a tie
My prayer for you is…
That you allow God to love you into becoming all He created and called you to be. I pray that you believe you are worthy of love and believe God designed YOU for this exact moment in time. No one walks the earth with your exact DNA or calling.
Have questions or want to connect further? Drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org