Local author, entrepreneur and founder of Alkalign, Erin Paruszewski recently published a book called It Doesn’t Have to Hurt to Work. It’s a transformational memoir about breaking free from the physical pain and mental misery of achieving the “perfect” body, and a guide to helping you find strength and whole-body health through the practice of functional fitness.
As a former cardio-junkie and champion calorie-counter, Erin grew up believing that “more is more” when it came to exercise and “less is more” when it came to food. On the outside, she was in great shape. But on the inside, her body was falling apart thanks to the wear and tear of overexercising and fueling herself with a chemically processed, low-fat, high-sugar diet.
After hitting rock-bottom, this reality set her on a new trajectory in both body and mindset. Erin’s lived experience and functional lifestyle pivot are the inspiration behind this how-to message as she blends narrative stories and research-based explanations of how our bodies and minds work best.
We connected with Erin and asked the top three reasons she chose to write this book.
Replied Erin: “I originally started this project as a personal journal of sorts for my two daughters, Ava and Elle, who are now ages 8 and almost 12. I wanted them to know a bit more about who I am, where I came from, how I have evolved and why health and wellness are such an important part of my life. I wanted to be transparent about my struggles and share how I have navigated setbacks and successes along the way. I hope my story will help them be more open about their struggles so we can keep the lines of communication open, especially during their teen years.
“As the project evolved, I realized that there may be some benefit in sharing my story not just with my kids, but with my clients. I’ve owned fitness studios in Menlo Park and Los Altos since 2009, and who I was and why I started those businesses is completely different from why I’m in this business today. I don’t think many of my closest friends and family members appreciate the transformation that has taken place over the past 13 years. Something shifted when I became a mom to two girls. I no longer wanted to operate in an industry that promoted messages of “longer and leaner” and mantras such as “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.” My goal now is to disrupt the myths that exist and are so deeply rooted in so many of us. My personal and professional mission is to educate, empower and inspire my readers to take care of themselves and invest in both physical and mental health.
“During the three-year writing process it became clear that my mission extends beyond the walls of my home and my studios. Thanks to Covid, we now have a robust virtual studio that allows us to serve clients all over the world. Thanks to this book, I now have a platform to share my story with anyone who is ready to get off the hamster wheel of perfectionism and is open to living a life that doesn’t have to hurt to work. My true passion is reaching the next generation, and I hope to do more speaking engagements for tweens, teens, educators and parents. This is a critical age where many shifts in self-esteem and social dynamics take place. It is also, unfortunately, where many of the unhealthy behaviors and beliefs related to food and fitness begin. If I can inspire a shift in mindset with my embarrassing stories and bathroom blunders, well, then I will have succeeded.”
Erin can be found at her Los Altos studio (unfortunately the Menlo studio closed due to Covid) and via her virtual livestream classes. Want to try a class for free? Register with this link!