Thank you for taking an interest in my blog. These writings have been a long time coming and I'm excited to be able to share my thoughts with you. I hope you find them interesting and helpful.
My goal is to help you overcome your struggles and achieve your goals, whether it's with food, weight loss, body image issues, insecurities, pregnancy and post pregnancy bodies, exercise motivation, willpower, you name it. And I want you to know that you are not alone.
What I have found during my years of counseling many different types of people, is that my struggles are their struggles and everyone, no matter what gender, age, or pant size, has some sort of food or body issue they are contending with.
The first step in reaching any type of nutrition or exercise goal, is to find out what is in your mind. It's important to understand why you do the things you do -- or don't. Why are you failing? Why do you feel negatively towards yourself? Why can't you keep your motivation? Why do you keep letting yourself down?
My own personal weight loss journey was not only successful in losing weight, but it was a transformation of my mind and who I am as a person; how I view food, how I view exercise, how I view other people, and now, how I view both my past and present self.
My journey began when I was 11, when I joined Jenny Craig, after being teased at school and addressed by my new name, "fat girl." Before the teasing started, I never even had a concept of myself, my looks, or whether or not I was "good enough" for other people to accept me. But, teasing is so cruel and it began my new life of self-criticism, hyper body scrutiny, bathroom scale obsession, yo-yo diet crazy, crying in fitting rooms, many insecurities, and choosing to be anti-social. I stayed home, said no to parties (especially pool parties), felt sorry for myself all the time, and constantly told myself that if only I could lose weight, I would be happy and could finally enjoy life.
Some people never get past those feelings and let their new personality own them for the rest of their lives as adults. I do not want that life for anyone. Many of my childhood years were socially wasted and I will never get those years back.
From the age 11 to 26 years old, I stayed overweight. I tried every diet imaginable, bought every diet book, joined multiple gyms, hired multiple trainers, and spent thousands of dollars trying to find the one thing that might actually work.
I had a few dreams along the way; one of becoming a fashion designer for only overweight people, becoming Miss America with my platform supporting mental disabilities with food or body image, and becoming a physician to learn everything about the human body and solve the overweight problem myself.
I did end up going to college as a Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology major on the Pre-Med track to Medical School. My extra curricular activities in Aerobics and Dance led me to be recruited into the Kinesiology minor, with an emphasis in Group Fitness Instruction. I fell in love with Kinesiology and went on to get my Masters in Kinesiology and specialize in Exercise Science.
While completing my Masters, I was chosen to be the sole recipient of the Graduate Research Fellowship Scholarship where I assisted faculty with a variety of research projects. I was awarded the Dorothy Deatherage Scholarship, intended for a student with outstanding academics and who has contributed to the department of kinesiology in significant ways. I also won the Sub-Disciplinary award, given to the most outstanding student in the Exercise Science department. I am currently published in the Diabetes Journal regarding Body Composition and I've presented my own thesis entitled, “The Effect of Cadence on Ground Reaction Forces during the Push-Up Exercise” at the National Strength and Conditioning Association conference in 2009.
I absolutely loved my time in Grad School and while I accomplished many achievements, I was still the most overweight student in the Kinesiology department and I felt like a hypocrite everyday. I had never stopped trying though. I had a part time job as the Program Director at the local Jenny Craig, still losing and gaining the same 10 lbs over and over again.
Then, one day during my last year in school, I saw an old friend on Facebook post some professional pictures of herself on stage in a bikini and heels wearing a very dark tan. She looked amazing and I wanted to know her secret! I immediately messaged her and she told me she had joined a body building program and gave me the name and number of her coach.
This was something I had never tried before and it was the best of all worlds for me. I could get fit (hopefully) and be in a "pageant." Something I always wanted to do, but was too overweight.
Even though I started dieting at 11 years old, my true journey started when I signed up for this bikini level body building competition. That was the beginning of learning who I really was; behind all the childhood teasing, behind the dieting, behind the wishing, behind the self-loathing.
I ended up competing in two bikini level body building competitions and changed my life forever. I was still the heaviest person on that stage, not by much, but the learning process was priceless.
It has now been 5 years since my last competition and I have become a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine and I hold the top level of ACSM’s “Exercise is Medicine” Credential. I also have a specialty certification in Nutrition for Optimal Health, Wellness, and Sport from Thomas Edison University and am a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Sports and Conditioning Association.
I currently work as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Nutrition counselor in San Francisco. Where my true success lies is in the Nutrition counseling I perform with a variety of different people.
I have helped hundreds of people overcome their mental boundaries to achieve their personal goals. This is my passion in life.
My weight still fluctuates and every day is a struggle with food, exercise and the skewed body image I hold. I live life as a recovering addict of negative thoughts, yo-yo dieting, and lack of motivation. It still takes constant and consistent work to keep up my new lifestyle both mentally and physically.
I hope by reading my blogs that you will find a voice of refuge and use my experiences to help you through your own journey. Please take comfort in knowing you are not alone. I am confident that you can overcome too.