During my late teenage years, I became severely depressed. My depression left me feeling that I was helpless to govern my mind and emotions, so I began seeking ways to control my body. I began practicing anorexia and bulimia to make myself as thin as possible. As a result, I became severely malnourished. Malnutrition, in turn, caused extensive medical problems. My bones were breaking for no apparent reason, my hair was falling out, my skin was sallow, and the depression I was experiencing only escalated due to my poor diet and lack of nutrition.
Over the next 18 years, I continued on a cycle of increasing weight gain and yo-yo dieting in an effort to control my weight and fit into society’s standard of what the female physique should look like. Then in 1999, I moved overseas to a small village in The Netherlands. I began to observe the Dutch practicing holistic lifestyle concepts. They had a love for nature and the outdoors, healthy eating, smaller portion sizes, a higher fruit and vegetable intake and moderate daily exercise. Almost everyone I knew in Holland was thin and fit and strong. This was a stark contrast to most of my friends back home. It became apparent to me that the American lifestyle and diet did not support optimal health.
I was living in their country, but I wasn’t eating or exercising like the Dutch. By the time I returned to the US in 2003, I was grossly overweight. In August of that year, a personal trainer put a flier on my door that sparked something in me. That’s when I began a seven-year personal evolution.
By focusing on proper exercise and good nutrition, I lost 90 pounds. At age 38, I went from an average, overweight, worn-out mom to a four-time fitness competitor, receiving trophies in three of the competitions I entered. Now at age 45, my bones were recently tested at a 99% strength capacity — a far cry from the weak and porous bones I had in my teens. My posture has completely changed. My cardiovascular health was tested to be that of a 25-year-old. Best of all, I no longer suffer from depression and hopelessness.
But before I could change my body, I had to change my thinking. That’s why I take a different approach to weight loss than many personal trainers by teaching my clients that they need to allow their mind to focus on the health and well being aspects of proper nutrition and physical fitness. When they do that, they soon discover that they naturally have the wonderful side effects of lower body fat, lower BMI, a smaller pants size, more energy and greater directional thinking.
Because I know what it’s like to be fat and sick, and have learned how great it feels to be strong and healthy, I have an intense passion to assist others in their journey towards optimal health. I am certified as a personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and as a fitness instructor by the Cooper Institute. I am privileged to be the personal trainer to four contestants on NBC’s The Biggest Loser and ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.
I’ve worked with actors and dancers, stay-at-home moms and business executives. I’ve established wellness and fitness programs for churches and businesses that have helped hundreds of people to lead healthier, happier lives. I love what I do! Let me help you discover what it means to be truly fit — body, mind and soul!