One morning when I was 17, I woke up and couldn’t move my body without excruciating pain.
I couldn’t walk.
I had no strength.
I couldn’t even squeeze toothpaste out of a tube.
Three days later I was in the hospital.
My mom would tell people who visited me in the hospital to “don’t cry in front of her!”
The doctors were stumped.
They prepared my mom for the worst.
I was very sick when I was 17 but I never knew HOW sick.
Months after being out of the hospital, one more symptom appeared and I was finally diagnosed with reactive juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
What I do remember is the humor in in the whole experience…
- like how I was so worried my mom was going to decapitate my feet in the wheelchair because she kept banging into the doorways of the hospital.
- how I used to “play” with the vital monitors by holding my breath and watching the line flatten out and then when I would breath again the line would start “blipping” again (I am sure the nurses loved this game as much as I did).
- or when I had to have a spinal tap and they told me it will feel like a “bee sting”. As they inserted the needle, my first thought was “Ouch! How big is this bee!” Or worse when they said the didn’t get any material and would have to go back in the same hole!! “How big is this hole that they can find it again?!” I thought.
- or when my mom came into my room and I was running my finger across a book and she asked what was I doing…I responded “Well, if I am going to be blind I need to learn braille”. Mind you this was a regular book not even a braille book!
This story does have a happy ending…
I got sick in January and by September, I was dancing on scholarship at Radford University….like nothing had ever happened.
Through the years, I have kept my RA in remission. This is one of the driving forces that I have for staying healthy and fit. My joints start to ache if I eat too much sugar or salt (yes, I am human and I eat sweets and salty foods from time to time)….or if I start to gain weight my body doesn’t feel the same. I don’t know about you but I want to be a very independent 90 year old one day! That alone makes it a “hell yes!” to take care of my body!
I went on to become a professional ballet dancer and became a Physical Therapist Assistant.
I have always wanted to be a personal trainer…even when I lived in Annapolis and worked as at the front desk at the Big Vanilla gym (I would love to know why the owners decided on this name lol).
But wait …there’s more …
Having grown up in the ballet world, disorganized eating was pretty much the standard for me. At a young age, I had high expectations put on me to look a certain way for dance. I never realized the damage this did to my mind until I turned 40.
“What do you mean?? …Doesn’t everyone starve themselves for as long as possible then have a huge binge eating session because you just can’t keep it together any longer?”
Yes, this was my M.O. for most of my life.
I grew up thinking this was “normal eating”.
Restrict. Sacrifice. Then go completely out of control and eat anything and everything. Then back to restrict and sacrifice.
I never had a “weight problem” where “the scale says I weighed too much”. But I did have a “how-I-think-about-myself-weight-problem” (a.k.a. body image issues).
It doesn’t matter if you are 5 pounds overweight or 100 pounds overweight, if you don’t feel good in your own skin you have a “weight problem”.
When I turned 40 (even with all my extensive fitness and nutrition knowledge), I started looking for more specific answers to questions like:
- Why do I keep sabotaging myself?
- Why do I feel so outta control??
- Are my hormones outta whack? Is this even normal??
- Is this what happens when you get over 40??!
- Why do I feel like I gain 5 pounds when I look at a doughnut?!
- I am soooo busy! How do I juggle family, friends and career and STILL be healthy and fit?
I understand what it feels like when you feel like food controls you.
I get it when you try on those pants and they are waaaay too snug…which spirals into a “what is wrong with me/why can’t I do this?!”
I know very well what it is like to struggle to want to look a certain way and to be frustrated with the number on the scale.
I understand your feelings of disgust when you just don’t know why you can’t lose weight and keep it off.
Things are much different now!
Since turning 40 (now almost 7 years ago), I have devoured every bit of knowledge I could get my hands on fitness, nutrition and cognitive behavioral psychology.
I’ve experimented on myself then tested my ideas on my clients. My clients began losing more weight, decreasing inches and feeling fabulous in their own skin AND decreased the feelings of sacrifice and deprivation that typically comes with dieter’s mentality.
And now I want to share what I have learned with you!
What I discovered is weight loss is less about what you do and more about what you think.
Yes, you need to eat healthy and move your body but if you don’t have your head on straight you will never succeed in losing weight permanently.
How My “Superpower” Helps You
I am a perfectionist (no that is not my super power)…I know how “black and white” high achievers think.
I know how procrastination can sabotage your efforts (because if you can’t do it 100% correct then why bother).
My superpower is finding out what is holding you back from reaching your goals then giving you the tools to not only reach your weight loss goals but to make keep it off for life!
How We Can Work Together
You can be coached online. If you live in the USA and have an internet connect you are golden! Between my accountability app, phone consults and 24/7 email access, I got you covered. You will only be one click away from reaching me for any questions you have. I am here for you 100%.
What I Love Best About Working With My Clients
My favorite parts about working with my clients is when you hit your weight loss goal or realize how much stronger you are (mentally and physically) or when you do things you never thought you could because your weight was holding you back….those are the moments I treasure and am honored my clients allow me to guide them through the fitness journey to success!