I was just looking at a picture from twenty years ago and I was remembering where I was at that time in my life. I was a dancer and this particular picture was from a music video shoot. I was probably in the best shape of my life (from the outside) and yet when I look back, I see such a sad, insecure, vulnerable, young girl. It was some of the darkest periods in my life. Physically, I was struggling with eating disorders. I would starve myself or work out all day to make sure I was skinny. My diet consisted of coffee and cigarettes. Everything I valued was about how I looked and what people thought of me. I remember being at this video shoot and feeling like I was the fattest, ugliest person there amongst all the beautiful, talented individuals I was working with.
So here I am, twenty years later. I am finally content with my body. I don’t have an un-realistic view of what I think I should look like. It is what it is! I have three amazing, beautiful, healthy children that I adore and I have the stretch marks to prove it! My beauty doesn’t come from the outside appearance but out of a content, pure, secure relationship with God and having positive influences in my life. I definitely still struggle with body dysmorphia, but I try to take captive every thought. I now have the tools not to fall in to the trap of self- centeredness and anxiety. I am very grateful! It’s not always easy but I try my darndest!!!
One of the items on my bucket list was to be able to teach a health and fitness class. I wanted to do it by age forty. Health and fitness had always been a passion of mine and after practicing yoga for the last few years, it really helped me to develop awareness and surrender to my body and I really wanted to share that. I was sick of the fad diets, the quick fix empty promises of the latest trend, the plastic surgery, and the focus on the external instead of really dealing with what’s inside.
So, I started a Bootcamp class for some of my girlfriends who recently had babies and I figured, I would be working out anyway, I’d just include them. I thought I would have three or four people maximum come out to join. My first class I had twelve women show up! The next class, sixteen women showed up!!! I was so encouraged and scared at the same time! Right now, I have the honor of having classes at four locations and have been able to meet amazing women who blow me away everyday by their courage and love. I am having a blast working with these amazing, strong, beautiful, spiritual women. It’s truly a privilege to be friends with a lot of them. What I do resonates with these women because I think we’re all sick of being bombarded by size zero models and celebrity moms who fit in their jeans as soon as they give birth! We are normal women just trying to make it happen and squeeze in a workout when we can. The message is important. We are beautiful creatures. Wonderfully and fearfully made! We need to be reminded! As women, we need to encourage each other instead of sizing each other up. We’re on the same team here. It’s not a competition.
I always wanted to be pretty and skinny. It seemed like that was my goal in life as a young woman. Now, that I’m over forty I feel pretty good about my body, my strength, and my curves. I’m grateful I can still have the energy to take dance and fitness classes and on a good day, stand on my head!!
My classes are not about just losing weight but about dealing with what’s inside. We’re also going to re-train our minds about our love affair with food and develop discipline for fitness! Here are my before and after pictures. Even though I have never been over twenty pounds overweight, it was still a huge challenge to overcome the mental game. It all starts with a decision and a willingness to try. Then it’s taking action everyday and not make excuses! I help empower women re-invent themselves. I train women to learn how to love the skin they’re in. I love what I do and I’m honored to be in this journey with you.