Sharan Tash, the owner of TASH Wellness GETS IT! She understands what it’s like to carry around over 300 lbs. She understands what it’s like to want to eat the WHOLE pizza, not just a slice. She understands what it’s like to have 3 sets of clothes – medium, large and extra-large. She understands what it’s like to not be accepted in her profession just because of the way she looks.
From birth to senior citizen, Sharan has had to fight obesity. She has struggled with diet programs, exercise, relationships and careers which have made her the spokesperson she is today. Her career as a professional speaker started in the field of networking and dentistry. Today she inspires audiences with her personal journey and the battle of her weight and health.
Sharan’s entrepreneurial background ranges from fitness to education, to the dental field and back to fitness. Although she was active – coaching soccer, swimming, baseball, and football for her 4-children, Sharan knew that the scale was moving close to 400 and she did not have control.
She attributes her success in reducing over 130lbs. in 1990 to knowing if she didn't take off the weight, she would not see her children grow to adulthood or hold her future grandchildren. She had to tackle the problem facing her day to day.
In 1990 that all changed.
Sharan shares her story of struggle and inspires audiences to make a lifestyle change that is best for THEM.
Sharan also shares her battle with her heart and a stroke in 2019 to her clients, showing that she has the same concerns as many of her clients. She's been there! SHE GETS IT!!!
In Her Own Words
My journey to becoming a fitness professional was unconventional and not without twists and turns, but ultimately very personal. I was always an active chubby child, and became an active obese adult, coaching my children in swimming, football, soccer and baseball. In 1991, when I was 357 pounds and on my way up to 400, I realized that if I did not take action, I would die. I would not see my four children grow up and become parents; I would not see my future grandchildren.
I began with water exercise because that’s what my joints could handle. When I finally lost 135 pounds, I went on land to continue my fitness journey – and to share it with other women in my situation, I became a personal trainer in 1992. My father recommended that, as a Jewish woman, I advertise to the large orthodox Jewish community in Chicago. I became THE trainer for that community. Back then it was all about exercising to reduce weight. And so many women, myself included, were trying every weight reduction program that came out – none of which have ever proven successful long term. Some of the list of programs I tried are: Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, The Cabbage Soup Diet, Phen-Fen, Optifast, etc…)
By 2010, I started focusing on nutrition in a more enlightened way, which led to exploring my limiting beliefs in myself. Though my weight has fluctuated over the past 25 years, I am now healthier, happier and in the best shape of my life – having lost a total of 177 pounds and still reducing. My boutique fitness studio catering primarily to baby-boomer women who have faced life challenges similar to mine is thriving. My professional journey has focused on gaining the skills and knowledge to best serve them in the areas of exercise physiology, body mechanics, the latest in nutrition science, and perhaps most important – addressing and dealing with the emotions around body image, fat shaming, and reliance on food as comfort.
My journey mirrors my members’ journey: The difficulty of carrying around so much weight and thinking “If I just exercise more and eat less I could beat this obesity thing!”; undergoing six knee surgeries due to teaching up to three-step classes/day and having back pain due to poor functional fitness.
The Grey Institutes 360 program changed my life and how I train clients. We no longer do squats; we do hip hinges. We no longer do sit-ups; we work the abs and back like they were meant to be worked – standing and for stability.
And just like my clients with 50-100+ pounds to reduce, I have dismissed the fitness professionals who simply don’t understand my struggles, or who themselves complain about having difficulty reducing five pounds.
I am my client. I have walked in their shoes. I fight the battle every day and will for the rest of my life. I want my clients to be healthy no matter their size or their age. To find a lifestyle they can live with forever without deprivation and self-sabotage.
An Epitaph to My Journey (Updated 2023)
In February of 2019 I was in the best shape of my life. I was the lowest weight I had ever been as an adult, and my workouts were 6-days/week which also included running.
THEN IT HAPPENED
In February of 2019 I had a stroke. It occurred on a Saturday night, but I did not recognize the early symptoms (I could not grab my water bottle that was besides me, and I could not tie my pajama bottoms.) Life went on where I trained on Sunday, had lunch with my kids. Then Monday I was singing in the car on my way to train at 6:15 am, and I heard my voice in my ears sounding slurred. Of course I ignored it.
When I got to the studio and my first member came in, I said hi to her and she and I both noticed a slurring of my speech. I cancelled the sessions on Monday morning and drove myself to the hospital (How stupid was that?)
I was told I had a stroke on Saturday evening.
What that did to my mind and body is devastating. I have been punishing my body since February 2019. "Why should I exercise or eat right? My body betrayed me by having a stroke." Those were my thoughts from 2019 until October 2023.
As the weight kept creeping up, I had that same epiphany on a Tuesday in October. If I don't take care of myself I will not see my grandchildren continue to grow up.
I have restarted my weight reduction process and forgive my body for having the stroke.
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