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Anna Bianca

MEET YOUR COACH

Are you tired of fighting your weight battle alone?  I can help you break free from old belief systems, excuses, and fears so you can move forward into a brighter future full of health and wellness.

BIO: Anna Bianca Grantner is an experienced Body and Lifestyle Transformation Coach with a unique combination of 28 years of social work and life coaching.

 

She holds a Master's degree in Social Work in Executive Management from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Michigan State University.

 

She is also a Certified Life Coach, Spiritual Coach, Peer Coach, and Emotional Intelligence Coach, certified by The Coach Training Academy in Blaine, WA.

Anna's coaching expertise is centered around providing expert guidance and support to bariatric and cosmetic surgery patients. Her focus is on emotional and physical preparation for surgery and recovery, with the primary goal of providing a positive experience through the implementation of patient care best practices and psychophysical education. She believes that this leads to a smooth recuperation and long-term success for her clients.

Aside from her coaching qualifications, Anna is also an author, having written a children's book titled "Without A Home."

 

She has also made several guest appearances on YouTube's Life Talk with AC Galarza, where she shares her insights on various topics related to life coaching.

 

Anna is also a Limited Licensed Master Social Worker and a Master Certified Spiritual Coach, Certified Life Coach, Listening Coach, Peer Coach, and Emotional Intelligence Coach.

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My Story

TRANSFORMATION

MY STORY

My Personal Journey… starts at a young age. Many of you can likely relate to this.

 

 I was a little overweight as a child. I was also very tall and grew quickly, which made me stand out among my peers. When I was eight years old, my pediatrician put me on my first (yes, first but not last) medically supervised diet at my mother’s behest. It was a diabetic diet for adults with type 1 and 2 diabetes. My mother handed me the diet sheet and said, ´´Here, follow this.´´ I was lost.

To this day, I can’t pinpoint why and where my overeating started. My grandparents loved a "Gerber baby" and fed me often when I visited. No one else in my entire family had any weight issues and I think my mother was overwhelmed with how to deal with it.

 

I would sneak food from the refrigerator after she went to bed. My father enjoyed his late night snacking… huge bowl of ice cream or a rootbeer float, but he was mostly able to keep his weight down. When he started gaining, he would bring home diets that his secretaries passed around at work and he and I would try every one of them through the years. He could lose 20 lbs. in a couple of weeks and be fine. I think for me, this cycle of constantly yo-yo dieting, losing and gaining weight eventually destroyed my metabolism and made it even more difficult to maintain a consistent, healthy weight.

As I entered into my teens, you guessed it, things became more challenging. Comments such as, "Don’t worry, it’s just baby weight and you’ll lose" gave way to more hurtful and harmful commentary, including, ´´Don’t you have any pride in yourself?´´ or my personal favorite, ´´You’d be pretty if you lost weight.´´

I absorbed these comments as internal affirmations of who I truly was… unlovable, genetically unprivileged (I hate the word ugly), less than, and not good enough (whatever that means). They became so ingrained that, after a while, they were not conscious thoughts in my head, but a part of my subconscious.

 

My life played out these negative storylines throughout my childhood and bled into my adult life. A lack of supportive friends, mentally abusive and toxic boyfriends, and shutting myself off to fun.

 

I am already an introvert by nature, so this drew me more into my shell. I thought I was destined to be shy (even though I actually have always had a wicked, fun sense of humor), cut off and alone. NOT SO.

Somewhere, deep inside my soul, I knew that a new girl was waiting to emerge, she was just waiting for the right time to show herself. Little did I know, that she would appear and then hide for many years.

 

At some point in my teens, I decided that if I could survive high school, I could re-invent myself (I truly believe that to this day) to be anyone I wanted. I focused on school as I knew my brain was my way to freedom. I was right.

When I entered college, I went to a university where I didn’t know one single person from my past and I felt unencumbered to start my life over and become someone different from who I had been in my former life. Even though I was still an introvert, I started forcing myself to participate in activities, get involved in playing sports and broadening my circle of friends to include people who were the polar opposite of me.

For the first time in my life, I felt pretty, accepted, and in control. After years of struggling with my weight, I had finally shed the pounds and started to rebuild my self-esteem. However, my focus was solely on my outward appearance, and I neglected my inner self. I was grounded in my physical body, but my emotional health was not a priority.

As life progressed, I became complacent, and the stresses of adulthood took their toll. Working as a social worker for child services was emotionally taxing, and I found myself turning to food for comfort. Before I knew it, the weight came back, and I was back to where I started.

A friend introduced me to low-carb dieting, and I thought it was my saving grace. I lost weight but couldn't handle eating carbs, which led to bingeing. This cycle continued for years, and it became harder and harder to lose weight with each binge. My metabolism stalled, and my weight became a constant struggle.

I eventually left that job for an even more stressful career, working with homeless families. Once again, I found myself surrounded by comfort food and people who struggled with emotional eating. I formed workout groups and walking groups, but nothing seemed to stick. We made excuses for our unhealthy eating habits, saying it was just how it was for everyone.

Fast forward to my late 30s and into my mid-40s. I was working around the clock, climbing the ladder of success, and completely disregarding the need for balance in my life. I had just ended a toxic relationship and was completely burned out and lost. I knew I needed a complete overhaul of my life.

The first step was admitting that I needed more help than I had previously thought. Despite my knowledge of physical training, nutrition, and various diets, I knew it wasn't enough. I had to be open to medical intervention from a doctor. I had always struggled with the volume of food I consumed, and I needed a serious behavior modification tool to break this cycle.

I initially thought the idea of bariatric surgery was preposterous. Why would I need medical intervention when I should be able to control myself? But in reality, I felt powerless to make it happen. I enjoyed the taste, texture, aroma, and social aspects of food, and I couldn't resist the temptation to eat more. Eventually, I decided to take the plunge and undergo bariatric surgery.
 

I came to the realization that asking for help doesn't make me weak or less capable.

 

Around the same time, my father unexpectedly passed away due to his health issues, which put me at risk of inheriting them as well. I didn't think it was possible since I had never smoked, drank, or had a poor diet, but I was waking up repeatedly at night gasping for air due to sleep apnea. After consulting with a specialist, I was informed that my tongue would fall back in my throat when I slept, blocking the air flow, and I could potentially not wake up at any time. I reached out to various doctors but was turned away because my BMI wasn't high enough. After consulting with different specialists, I was told the only tool I qualified for was a balloon in my stomach, which was not a permanent solution.

I continued to ask around and consciously put on weight to see if I could qualify for the surgery. After adding 20 pounds, I finally found a doctor who was willing to help me. He didn't want me to continue gaining weight and becoming even more unhealthy before having surgery, especially given my sleep apnea.

 

I was ready to go to Mexico if he didn't assist me, but I only needed to drive 2.5 hours from my home to have a gastric sleeve operation, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

The procedure itself was quick, and I was released the next day. I had to make some real adjustments after the surgery, such as setting a timer to sip water every 15 minutes, continuing a liquid diet for a couple of more weeks, and practicing new eating behaviors. This is a whole new way of life, a whole new way of being, and the real work begins after the surgery.

 

It's hard to imagine being full after a few bites, not wanting to eat all day long, or turning down my favorite foods because I know they will make me sick. However, having the procedure was a saving grace that changed my life for the better.

As a foodie, losing the freedom to indulge in whatever and whenever I want was like losing a close friend. It was hard to come to terms with the fact that I would never be able to finish a meal again.

 

But despite the initial shock, I realized that this so-called best friend was actually a destructive force in my life. It was holding me back from living my best life and keeping me from feeling confident and happy. So, I decided to let go of this toxic friend along with a few other negative influences in my life. And while it was a grieving process, it was so worth it. Once I started consistently losing weight and feeling healthier, the loss of my old habits didn't seem so significant anymore.

I thought that having weight loss surgery would isolate me from my favorite foods, social activities, and other fun events.

 

But I was surprised to find that I could still enjoy all of these things. I just had to make adjustments, like ordering from the appetizer menu at restaurants or taking leftovers home. And by focusing on the social aspect of these activities, I was able to be more present in the moment with my friends and family.

 

I even have more energy for physical activities and less joint pain. Of course, there were struggles along the way, like feeling hungry right after surgery, dealing with nausea, and learning to eat more slowly. But over time, life started to feel normal again, albeit a new normal. 

Ultimately it was the best decision I ever made. 

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Body Image

POST-OP

I can definitely relate to the struggles of body image after weight loss surgery. Initially, I experience rapid weight loss, especially during the "honeymoon phase" after surgery.

 

However, my mind took much longer to adjust to my new body, and I still sometimes see my old overweight self when I look in the mirror.

 

Even some of my friends and family members may not recognize or relate to this new person, which can be discouraging.

 

Unfortunately, I've lost some friends who couldn't cope with my newfound body or confidence. It can be challenging to fit into and accept this new image while dealing with jealous acquaintances and even romantic partners who may become threatened by my success.

Dealing with family members can be more complicated as they may lash out or try to entice me to eat more, drink more, or go back to my old habits. Their self-esteem may feel threatened, and arguments can ensue. However, I need to remind myself that my new self exposes their insecurities, and it is their issue to deal with, much like how I'm dealing with mine.

 

Family counseling, marriage counseling, and one-on-one counseling helped me navigate these complex dynamics. I must allow some of these issues to come to light and be explored and released for me and my loved ones to live free and happy, even if it means living without some of them.

 

The most crucial aspect of this journey was accepting myself, forgiving myself for years of physical, emotional, and mental abuse I heaped on myself, and stepping into the light of my true essence.

 

It takes a lot of work, but the emotional payoff is well worth it.

Continuing to work on behavior modification is critical, including following medical guidelines and not social media posts.

 

I need to remember to eat to live, not live to eat, and focus on small portions and healthy fats.

 

Finding new hobbies and exercising regularly can also help me maintain my weight loss and keep my mind and body healthy.

 

Trusting the process and finding someone to be accountable to every week, whether it is a friend, life coach, or doctor, can help stay the course.

 

Whenever I hit a plateau or feel like I may be sliding back, I remind myself to lean into the lessons and ask for help.

 

Ultimately, I know I will find my way to the light, be able to embrace my inner child and live my life to the fullest.

I am here to help you do the same.

BOOK A FREE
15 MIN
CONSULTATION TODAY

Let's Chat!

Have a Question?

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Client Testimonials

THE ULTIMATE SUPPORT

“Gosh, it's hard to ask for help! But I am so glad I did. I couldn't have asked for a better coach and support. I was on the fence about Gastric Sleeve surgery for 3 years before I met Anna. She truly has lived this whole journey and has incredible insights and guidance to share".
Read full case study  - Laura M.

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