Putting the “Ho” in Holistic
“If the pandemic offered me anything positive, it was to reconnect to my love of coaching—and to finally develop the program,” says Tawnya Konobeck, more popularly known by her burlesque stage name Sweetpea. The program that she is referring to is Health Hussy, which is born out of the wellness workshops she previously taught while on tour. These workshops have now grown into something else entirely: full online courses and one-on-one sessions aimed at helping people reach their “ho”listic health goals.
Health Hussy needed a small nudge from Coach Pea’s community before it blossomed into what it is today. “I had a handful of other showfolk from around the globe reach out to me to see if I’d consider coaching them,” Coach Pea explains. “Not just with personal training and workouts, but to share my overall wellness perspective, from nutrition to self-confidence and sensuality.”
Coach Pea has an extensive list of credentials that make her particularly suited to help people pursue their holistic health goals. “I have 25 years’ experience as a personal trainer,” she says, “17 as a burlesque performer, 15 as a Functional Medicine Practitioner and Therapeutic Lifestyle Coach, eight years as a stripper, and five as a professional dominatrix.” The amalgamation of these specialized skills makes for a sexy, empowering program grounded in prioritizing mental and physical health.
“Because my clientele finds me because of being Sweetpea,” she says, “I no longer have to compartmentalize or separate my selves.” This means that she can “honor…and share the knowledge and experience of the sex(y) worker alongside the personal trainer and therapeutic lifestyle coach,” which leads to an authentic curriculum aimed at body, mind and sexuality.
“In my coaching conversations I use a lot of language, references and illustrative stories from my burlesque, stripping and bdsm/kink realms,” says Coach Pea. “Other aspects are the deep self-inquiry, shedding shame, and cultivating self-love and seduction, as well as working on our relationship with nourishment and self-care.”
She adds: “The Health Hussy program has invitations (rather than ‘assignments’) that acknowledge and care for our sexual being, and are suggested alongside daily or weekly care, like brushing your teeth or going to yoga class. I love watching the breakthroughs that happen when hussies receive permission (or Pea-missions) to embrace their innate sex magic, and seeing how that changes how they walk through their days or the world.”
Food is another important pillar in the Health Hussy curriculum. “I’m encouraging a different perspective with where and how we prepare our food,” she says. “We’re active about setting the scene, getting adventurous, playing, enjoying. I praise the kitchen quickie as much as the marathon session, so that no matter where someone is at with cooking or food preparation, we cover the easy and efficient to the long and luxurious.”
Coach Pea wants her clients to achieve more than just their physical goals. “At first people sign up and think that it’s 90 days of hardcore bootcamp action,” says Pea, “like its focus is solely about getting a six-pack or buns of steel. But then they’re surprised that the real challenge comes from getting to be in complete charge of themselves.”
The transformative power of Coach Pea’s work transcends all categories. She’s ready to meet any client where they are in their health journey and help them discover the most productive next steps for their situation. “I specialize in coaching humans who are working out for the first time, to those who are seasoned athletes, those who are rehabbing injuries or post-surgery, trans and nonbinary beings, all ages and abilities,” she says.
One of Coach Pea’s clients came to her suffering severe bodily pain. Her doctor had nothing to offer but a pessimistic prognosis and pain meds. “I was in no position to work out yet, so Sweetpea brought me back to the beginning of my healing process,” says Silk E Guns. “When I started the course I was suffering with chronic pain at a body pain level of 8 – 9 every day. Now at the end of her course my levels have dropped to a 3 – 4 pain level every day.” Guns attributes this progress to the nutritional advice and stress management she learned from Coach Pea.
Pea is skilled at helping people not only get stronger, but also feel empowered in their bodies. “I wanted to tone, build stamina, increase core strength, and cultivate my femininity,” says Minneapolis-based client Freya. “As a high femme trans woman, that was priority one. I had a feeling [Coach Pea] would be accepting, but our time together has far surpassed my expectations. She’s a trainer, a nutritionist, a life coach and a humanitarian.”
Working with Coach Pea is a pleasure. She’s funny, empathic, and passionate about helping people work toward their best selves. She does some one-on-one work with clients both in-person and online, and will be offering another month-long program this December. More information is available on the Health Hussy website and the social media channels listed below.
“I get the greatest joy in meeting everyone where they’re at,” says Pea, “showing them how incredible they are right now, while honoring individual goals and where it is they want to go—and then getting to celebrate with them each step of the way when they realize they’re capable of things they never dreamed of.”
Facebook and Instagram: @thehealthhussy
Coach Pea’s Clients: Ashley & Lauren
Photography: Kasey Rajotte of Studio Twelve:52
Makeup for Pea & Lauren: Grace Witthun: @gracewitthun / @facesbygraceusa
Flowers: Blommonster, blommonster.com
Hair: Hair Head to Toe Salon, headtotoempls.com
Pea’s Nails: VIP Hair & Nail Salon, vip-hair-and-nails.com