diana antholis bridge central park

I always wanted to be a fashion designer. My entire dorm room wall was covered in cut out fashion advertisements from Vogue. (Or maybe it started with my childhood obsession with dressing my Barbies.)

Reaching for my dream, I transferred out of my first college to FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). I was too practical to study design though, so I went for business instead, majoring in Advertising and Marketing. I worked in fashion marketing for a second before I made my way down Madison Avenue towards the big bad advertising agencies in New York City, you know, à la Mad Men.

But the glamour wasn’t on Madison Avenue sipping straight whiskey from fancy tumblers on a bar cart pitching winning ideas to clients. Instead I was shoving full sized candy bars in my mouth at my pod desk until 11pm at night and creating flow charts that dictated how many millions of dollars my clients would spend on media in order to get people to choose their brand over the 40 other choices at the convenience store. The job was fascinating. The near nightly parties were champagne-infused debauchery. Client lunches were indulgent. And if we came up with an idea creative enough to convince the client to go in a different direction, we got to go to fashion shows and concerts.

I loved every minute. Until I didn’t anymore. I saw my VP Director’s passion, enthusiasm, and creativity for her work and I realized that my future wasn’t there. I was inspired by her drive. She had found her calling. But it had become clear to me that I hadn’t. I wasn’t fulfilled.

I dropped my advertising career to go to graduate school in Washington D.C. I had a new purpose and determination that was finally going to be my passionate career! Management consulting! Of course this would be IT for me. I saw the desperate need for stress reduction, work/life balance, management and leadership training, and motivational coaching in the three agencies I dedicated 12-hour (sometimes more) days to. I was going to be the change now. I was going to make a difference. This was my calling.

I completed my masters degree in 10 months, a special fellows program given at The George Washington University for Organizational Management. Seven-week semesters and over 300 pages of reading material, 10+ pages papers, and individual and group presentations every week taught me stress in a whole new form. I was so stressed working in the agencies that I had developed physical pain (more on that in the introduction of this book), but at least when I went home after work I was done. Being in graduate school was a huge wake-up call for me, and it was the first time I really was confronted with myself. I wasn’t only being taught how to coach others, I was learning how to coach myself. I was forced to evaluate and dissect myself at every level. And it didn’t stop; it was 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I sat at my kitchen table, eyes glued to the screen, fingers furiously typing, from rise to sleep. I knew exercise would help me release stress. I knew yoga would help me fight my nerves. But I wasn’t doing any of it. Something had to change.

I slowly started incorporating “me time” into my days. I gave myself a mental breather once a day. I started exercising again, fitting in a quick yoga session or bike ride when I was super busy because that was the time I needed it the most. I asked myself the hard questions, digging deep into my emotions to figure out why I was feeling angry, sad, or nervous. I created my own version of mantras to be daily sanity check-ins. I taught myself how to get out of my mind and into my heart. I had to be the person I wanted to be, the person I knew I really was, because whoever had taken over my life wasn’t running it the way I wanted.

Instead of going into the big bad management consulting firms of NYC (see the pattern here?), I opted out. I needed to listen to my body and I needed to tell others how to listen to their bodies as well. After a few years being a career and management coachsultant (coach + consultant), I realized something was missing. Every person I talked to needed to figure out a work/life balance, was so stressed that they missed work, and had lost their spark—not doing anything for themselves anymore, thinking that a new job would be the change they needed. A new job is not the answer, the answer is within you. It wasn’t a question anymore, I had to do something about this epidemic.

The Unleash Your Sexy movement was born in 2012 and I was named one of the top people to change the world that year. My goal has been to help women feel balanced, centered, and sexy in everything they do. It’s too easy to do nothing for yourself. It’s too easy to let fear control every decision. It’s too easy to stop believing in the possibilities for your life.

The women who have coached with me “have found peace and calm”, “see the light”, “feel balanced emotionally and physically”, “feel healthier and look better”, “feel stronger, more balanced, and more in control of my life”, “have a new confidence”, “have found the essence of my work”, and “have been inspired.”

The women (and men) who have devoured my best selling books Unleashed: Live the Balanced, Centered, and Sexy Life You Deserve and Sanity is Sexy: Mantras to Inspire a Healthy Mindset have said; “Unleashed is the answer to a prayer”, “I now approach life situations differently: with more thoughtfulness, balance & self-care”, “I am empowered with a new perspective on life”, “This is a yoga retreat in a book”, “My handbook for health and wellness”, “Unleashed is more than just a book, it is more of a manual on how to take control of your own happiness and help guide you to achieve the life you want to live”, and “a guide to find you.” (And by the way, Unleashed has even been spotted on the nightstands of men who are referring back to it when they need it and being talked about in the pubs of Paris.) “Sanity is Sexy is honest, thoughtful, and a quick, simple way to snap ourselves back into focus when we are feeling overwhelmed or lost.” and “Sanity is Sexy is your new handbook..Diana Antholis tells us how our mindset can create miracles, what and how and why, short, sweet, to the point and amazing.”

Being an overachiever, I added some certifications to my roster of education at FIT and GWU. I am a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Mind-Body Specialist, and expert on alternative and integrative nutrition and women’s nutrition for reproductive health from the American Council on Exercise. That means I teach people how to do various types of physical exercise, beginner level yoga, Pilates, and how to eat healthfully for their bodies.

My clients and friends always say they are inspired by me. The way I live my life. The determination I have. The way I make my goals happen. I’m telling you the same thing I tell them: You can live unleashed and stay sane. I can be the inspiration you need, but more importantly, I can show you how you can find it within yourself.

Currently, as of 2015, I live in Paris, France with my gorgeous (on the inside and out) hubby exploring this wild life we have. Living in Paris is a constant mind trip, but one that I wouldn’t trade. Luckily, I have mantras to help me. I am inspired by the expatriates who set up lives here. We are all living unleashed, working to keep our sanity one day at a time.