Elloa is living a future she could never have imagined. Therapist. Author of Odd Man Out. TEDx Speaker. Wife. Perpetual student. Plant-powered vegan. Everything is connected!

Instagram; @elloaatkinson
Website; breakthevow.com

1. What 5 words describe your life? 

Changes all the time. Right now: Wholehearted, stressful, emotional, exciting, vegan

2. What's something that people won't already know about you? 

I recently turned vegan (again — for about the fourth time) and that I'm finding it joyful, easy and so connected to my experience of working with a shaman in Peru.

3. How many 'real' friends do you have VS your likers/followers/FB friends? 

I have between five and ten close girlfriends who are scattered all over the world, and I'm part of two really wonderful communities which again, are very dispersed geographically, but I probably only socialise 1-2 hours per week with people other than my husband Nige — and that's usually 1:1. I crave more connection and in-person community. So, my heart is deeply connected to many, but my day-to-day life is often fairly solitary.

4. What makes you feel vulnerable? 

Taking action. I keep stepping into the unknown, taking action and doing my best to live 'in the arena' but every time I do, I bump up against fear, shame and the old (and boring!) beliefs I'm a burden, I'm 'getting it wrong' and there's something inherently wrong with me, hanging out in the discomfort until I remember that it's not true!

5. Do you dare to dream or do you think dreams only come true for others? 

I am a big dreamer, and at the same time, there is an ongoing battle with fear and self-doubt. I am truly living a life I could never have imagined even a decade ago, five years into addiction and eating disorder recovery... and life is not 'perfect' or 'happily ever after' because it's not meant to be.

6. What one piece of advice would you give other women about life? 

I've learned that the negative, shame-based ego voice will probably always be there. However, there's another voice within — another Self, if you like. If I don't proactively cultivate and nourish that loving, supportive voice within, it's not really fair to expect that voice to be strong. It's up to me to make that relationship real and strong. 

7. When did you last shave your pits/legs? 

I last shaved my armpits on Friday 15th September, the day before giving a TEDx talk. My legs? Probably last week. I rarely shave my legs tbh. Probably once a month. My husband, who's a bodybuilder, is always less hairy than me!
 Odd man out, by Nige and Elloa Atkinson

Odd man out, by Nige and Elloa Atkinson