As a little girl, I loved going to school because I was well-behaved, got good grades and my teachers praised me. But, I also hated going to school because I was teased relentlessly…early on because I was overweight and had a big gap between my two front teeth; then, when my body started developing at the early age of 10, with new hips, boobs and major acne, I became even more of a target.
That, paired with my father often saying, “how could someone so book smart be so common sense stupid?”, caused me to believe I was both not beautiful and not smart.
Determined to take control, I chose anorexia and bulimia as my path to redemption. Of course. there’s no redemption on this path; but, I still saw it as an escape.
Although I struggled for years with various health issues these eating disorders created, I reveled in the superficial positive attention I received in my thinner body, even made some good money modeling so, I convinced myself that what I was doing was “working”.
What it was REALLY doing was killing me…in agonizing slow motion, from the inside out.
At age 18, a co-worker and friend who was concerned for my health recommended I try a Jazzercise class. I only last 19 minutes through my first class but it was “love at first grapevine”. I sat against the wall for the rest of that first class, lungs burning and bones aching yet in complete awe of what I was witnessing…the smiles, the exchange of energy, the community, the sheer joy of movement and connection. I was hooked and started going to every class I could.
This is where my physical healing began. I quickly realized that, in order to take part in this new-found movement I loved, I needed to fuel my body. I needed to take better care of myself so I could have enough energy to enjoy these classes. It was still a long road…the crazy roller coaster kind…but at least the healing had begun and that was huge for me.
Within a few months, I was lasting the whole hour and have every routine memorized. I knew that my love for this group fitness experience had saved my life and I immediately felt the desire to pay it forward. One day after class, I asked the instructor if she would mentor me to become and instructor so I could do just that. Sadly, she said she wouldn’t be able to help me because she didn’t think I had “what it takes to be an instructor”.
I remember being crushed and never going back to that class again. 2 weeks later, I was in a pretty bad car accident that had me laid up for weeks. It may sound strange but this was the best thing that could have happened. I had no choice but to spend a whole lot of time alone with who I would eventually realize is the most important person in my life – me.
It was in that time, I decided I was going to get in the fitness industry and help people the way fitness had helped me. I figured, I’ll never teach classes, but I’ll become a personal trainer and help in that way!
Once I was back on my feet, I got a job at the front desk of a local Bally’s Total Fitness while I studied and earned my first personal training certification. But I still took classes every single day. One Friday night, the program coordinator called me, desperate, asking me if I would jump in to sub the Saturday 9am Hi Low class the next day. I immediately said, “no”. After some discussion with her asking, “Why not? I see you in there every day?” My response surprised even me because I realized the words that were crossing my lips were not my words. I said, “I’m so sorry. I’d love to help you but I just don’t have what it takes to be an instructor”. Sound familiar?
I knew I had choice to make as I stared at this obvious opportunity – I could take a leap of faith on myself or I could let those words continue to be my reality.
I chose to leap.
I went on to become a certified instructor then a group fitness manager, regional trainer, a national then international education presenter and speaker. I was one of ExerciseTV’s Star Trainers and even led a number of highly rated commercial fitness/yoga videos – go figure!
In 2006, I was asked to step in as the national director of group fitness and yoga for the most highly revered organization in the wellness world – Life Time, The Healthy Way of Life Company.
By 2007, I discovered the world of positive psychology and personal development as well as various spiritual and wisdom traditions. A whole new journey began for me…an inward journey that would bring me not only to complete healing from the challenges of my past but also complete love and acceptance for myself for the first time in my life.
I dove deep into research, study, intensives, certificate programs and more. By 2010, I started presenting and speaking on more wholistic topics in addition to the fitness and yoga workshops I had been presenting for years.
I started to teach about what I now knew – the importance of knowing who you are, loving who you are and choosing to be who you are…and that this is how to shine your spectacular, unique light onto the world.
In 2017, pulling from all I had learned throughout my life journey as well as many guides and mentors along the way, I stepped away from my 6-figure corporate role with all its security and great benefits so I could create The Inspired Life, LLC with the goal of empowering as many other women as I possibly can to live the kind of inspired life I’ve found for myself.
Today, I’m a mom, teacher and coach who gets to live in a state of appreciation and joy the vast majority of the time, loving myself and loving this life. Today, I get to live the inspired life. And what I know to be true is that you can, too.
I‘ve come a long way but still see myself as a student first because I know that the more I can learn and realize for and within myself, the more I can help you. Empowering others has become my specialty and I am so grateful for the God-given ability to do so. It lights me up!
The best thing I’ve ever done for myself and others was let in the support of those guides and mentors the universe allowed me to cross paths with in this life.
If you’re here on my site, reading this, it’s for a reason. We’re crossing paths for a reason.
You need to know that, if you’re struggling with feeling stuck, frustrated and burned out, I’ve been there, I’ve gotten beyond it and I can help.
More than anything, you need to know this:
YOU ARE WORTHY. You deserve to feel empowered. You deserve to feel joy every day.
You can be the hero of your story. You can live the INSPIRED LIFE!