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This is my story.... what is yours? 


I was an overweight young person. I hid my sadness with a cheerful smile and my body with baggy clothes. I hated

my 5’1” frame at 140 pounds. I had body image issues before it was something people discussed,so instead of dealing

with these challenges I pretended to be happy.  Being around people filled me with energy, yet the path I chose

required me to sit alone for hours practicing the piano. My childhood dream came true, when I was accepted into a

college music school in 1973. Within a short period of time and long hours at the piano, I gained more weight, the good old freshman 15 pounds -  topping the scale at 155. My freshman year at college was supposed to be a fun time in life: it wasn't for me. Something needed to change. After some serious soul searching and two years under my belt,  I took a

leave from college to sort things out. I asked myself these questions...


What was missing in my life?

What did I really want and need?

Why had I chosen a path that was not making me happy? ​


The beginning of changes that continued for several years to come ....


Why share my story? Because, it has a lot to do with who I am now and how I may be able to help others. 

I learned that what was then negatively labelled as "restless energy" and best to be controlled was not at all that, 

but instead, my energy was in fact, my personal strength. I was a physical person trapped in a sedentary body. Like a

circle trying to fit in a square. I was a creative person, but sitting at the piano for several hours a day was not the best

place to express my creativity and surely a misplaced use of this "restless" energy.

Fast forward a few years later and several unforeseen family tragedies, I sought help to cope with my unhappiness. I changed my attitude and by doing so, the way I saw my body. In the course of identifying what I

needed to be happy and enjoy life, I lost more than 40 pounds and have kept it for 40 years. I learned that by using my personal strengths I could help myself and others at the same time.


I discovered and accepted that if I took care of my body; it would in turn, take care of my emotions, my relatioship with

food and visa a versa.  I would thrive; not just survive. I let go of the "shoulds" and instead, adopted the "I can and I will" approach toward challenges in my life. A whole new world opened up. It was a bit scary, but oh, so exciting. To this day,

I continue to welcome change, flexiblity and the unknown with curiousity versus fear.  

Here are a few questions that if you ask yourself, you will begin to understand what I mean. 


What are your personal strengths? 

What changes can you make in your life by applying, not resisting these strengths?  

Are you living according to who you want to be versus, who you think you should be?

Or perhaps, who others think you should be? 


Are YOU ready to change? 

Learn how coaching can help you take the next step?

Give a call or drop an email to set up a complimentary consultation to talk about what changes you want to make. 

What is your story?   Click and send me an email.



my personal story
Professional Experience


     Professional Experience: 35 years in the Health & Wellness


President: Risa Olinsky, LLC, Count on Yourself™ Coaching - coaching, speaking, writing & training

Wellness Coach at "Chamber's Center for Well Being" at Atlantic Health Systems 2012- 2015

Vice-President & Trustee of FreeWalkers a 501C3 a non-profit NJ based walking organization

Wellness Consultant: JCC Association of North America, NYC, NY 2009-2010

Lifestyle & Wellness Coach: JCC of MetroWest, West Orange, NJ 2009

Faculty: UMDNJ - Institute for Complementary & Alternative Medicine School of Health Related                        Professions  "Integrative Health Coaching and Self-Care" 2006-2010

Founder & Executive Director: (HWPN) The Health & Wellness Professional Network, 2004-2010.

President & Owner: Classic Fitness, Inc. Personal Training and Fitness Consulting 1993-2008

Fitness Trainer: South Mountain YMCA, Maplewood, NJ, 1986-1993

Fitness & Membership Director: Executive Self-Defense Center, NYC, NY 1985

Exercise Testing Director: Sports Training Institute, NYC, NY 1983-1985 

Corporate Fitness Consultant: Forbes, International Paper Co., Royal Bank of Canada, NYC, NY, 1981-86 

Exercise Testing Coordinator: Diabetes Self-Care Program, NYC, NY, 1984

Fitness Instructor: New York Health & Racquet Club, 1978 - 1982

Fitness Instructor:  Congressional Fitness Center, 1980-81, Washington , DC



Degrees & Certifications ....


New York University:        M.A., Steinhardt School of Education, Adult Fitness Management, 1983

                                             B.F.A., Tisch School of the Arts, Dance, 1978

Wellcoaches® Corporation:  Licensed Certified Wellness Coach, 2005 - present 

American Council on Exercise Certifications:

                                              Personal Trainer

                                              Health Coach

                                              Group Fitness Leader 

American Council on Exericse Recognitions:

                                               Nutrition Specialist   

                                               Lifestyle Behavioral Change Specialist

                                               Featured ACE Professional Journal (coming in January 2016)

Cooper Institutue:  Lifestyle Management Certification 1993

CPR/AED & First Aid 


     Continuing Education Programs and more....



Harvard Medical School Continuing Education: Positive Psychology and Coaching Conferences

Institute for Natural Resources: Emotions, Stress and Disease

Am I Hungry™, Dr. Michele May: Mindful Eating Coaching Program

Lifestyle Management Associates: Certified Nutrition Specialist

American Council on Exercise: Specialty Recognition in Nutrition

The Cooper Institute, Dallas, Texas: Developing Lifestyle & Physical Activity Programs 

American Academy of Health & Fitness Professionals: Post Rehab Conditioning Specialist 

Clinical Education Associates: Cardiac Rehab Program 

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