The Early Days
My start to fitness began before I even had a say! My mom taught step aerobic classes and from as early as I can remember, most of my evenings were spent in the gym. I remember watching those women sweat, cheer and step as my mom led them through complex routines. I’ll never forget that, even with her most crowded classes, she would make her rounds encouraging the women, one by one, to keep moving. No one got left behind in her classes and strangers left giving sweaty hugs to new friends. I knew fitness was a good thing. Fast forward to college and I was a gym rat! I was everybody’s unofficial “personal trainer” on campus. It’s funny looking back because I didn’t consider personal training as a career choice until long after I graduated.
My Figure Competition Days
I started competing in 2009 at the suggestion of a friend and training buddy. My first experience competing was like many of the horror stories you may have read online. Working out until exhaustion twice a day, eating the same foods for every meal and taking a lot of supplements. Don’t get me started on the self-esteem and body image issues! I was still competing in 2014 and under a new coach, I thought that prep was healthier by comparison. I dieted for 25 weeks for that final show. 25 weeks of eating perfectly measured chicken, tilapia, broccoli, asparagus, oatmeal and eggs on rotation. 25 weeks of hard training 6 days a week and waving bye-bye to my social life. I missed out on a lot and my health took a big hit. Even though I won my class, I ate an entire carrot cake backstage and gradually gained back fat in place of the muscle I lost during my prep.
My Training Business
I started personal training in 2011. I loved training and I was so busy that I was constantly turning down daytime clients because I had a full-time corporate job, too. A year later, I decided I wanted to train full-time. A close friend introduced me to a studio owner who I would go on to rent from and run my personal training business for 5 years! During those 5 years of full-time personal training, I gained a deeper appreciation for just how unique our bodies are and how important it is to meet each client where she is to equip her with the tools to commit to making fitness a lifestyle. The rigidity I grew accustomed to during my competition days had no place in my trainer-client relationship.
Today, I write and teach on a variety of health topics for women. My specialities are strength training, mindful movement and intuitive eating. This website is designed to be a resource for you on every step of your journey.
The Turning Point – April 2014
I didn’t know what to do with myself when I stopped competing. My body had been through so much and I hated my “off season” look. I was dealing with these insecurities while building my personal training business and going to school full-time; I was overwhelmed.
I had a panic attack in the middle of training a client. I was doing what I loved on my own terms but something was missing. That 20-minute panic attack changed my life for the better – I stopped obsessing over everything, started asking for help, made time for self-care and started exercising and eating better for my health, not for aesthetics. My journey is still a work in progress and my work today is a reflection of the best practices I’ve learned along the way.
A Few More Things that Make Me, Me!
- I take a 2-mile walk with my dog, Ace, every day! It’s the only way I can truly clear my head. Walking is a staple in my self-care routine.
- I’m a podcast junkie. I listen to criminal investigations, investigative journaling, self-development, financial advice and interviews with thought-leaders from all business sectors.
- I do my best work in busy coffee shops – oddly enough, the background noise and constant buzz of people keeps me focused and productive. Plus, I love random conversations with strangers!
- I’m working through my fear of elevators and small spaces in general. Walking 10 floors in heels is not for the faint of heart.
- I can’t hula-hoop to save my life.
- Beginning in April 2017, I lived with my 91-year-old grandfather as his primary caregiver. He had dementia so every day was an adjustment for us both, but it was a blessing to care for him. That was the most transformative year of my life.
- I could eat a veggie omelet for every meal…sometimes I do! I love eggs!
- I had reconstructive surgery of my left foot, ankle and Achilles tendon in 2001. My left foot looks like a Barbie foot with a perfectly sculpted arch and my right foot looks like one of the Flintstones’ feet.
- I would rather binge-watch a show than watch it episode by episode every week.
- I volunteer with BEACON for Adult Literacy as an ESL teacher. It’s the most rewarding and fun experience!
I just completed my 200-Hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training course…more to come on this soon! 🙂