I grew up in a small town near Portland Oregon.
I don’t really remember a time in my life where I was not concerned about my body appearance or being in shape. As a child I was on the smaller side. As I became a teenager, I felt like there was always pressure as a girl to be small. I remember my friends and I were always going on some kind of “diet” which usually consisted of diet coke and dexatrim. And too much alcohol. Which led to late night poor food choices. Thus the cycle would begin again.
I did not think of it as an eating disorder so much as wanting to fit in and look good in our jeans. There was always pressure to be “skinny”
I don’t remember when I started exercising. I didn’t come from an athletic family. I just remember I would exercise. Sometimes my friends would make fun of me because on sleepovers I would not go to bed until I did my exercising. There was no equipment just sit-ups, jumping jacks and the like. I would run. I was not an athlete. I never really understood sports. I was uncoordinated and not competitive.
In Highschool I joined a weightlifting class. I really liked it. It made me feel strong and I liked how it made me look.
I had social anxiety, depression.
I did not realize it back then. It was probably partly hormonal.
I would compare myself to others, never knowing where I fit in. Comparing myself to other girls who I looked at as skinnier, prettier and popular.
I honestly did not know where I fit in. I did not feel “good enough” to hang out with the jocks and cheerleaders. The “popular” kids. I worked really hard at trying to get attention but I still felt like a “nobody” I felt rejected.
Exercising would help me keep these feelings at bay. I did not know it at the time but it was the endorphins and boosting of seratonin that helped.
But even doing that I had a little voice in my head that would tell me I was not “good enough”
I was not a perfect student. I applied myself as long as I liked the class.
I did not have any idea about what I wanted to do after school. College? Work?
I remember always seeing Marines whenever my friends and I would go to the Portland Rose Festival. The ships would come into port and the Marines would strut. I just remember thinking how cool is that.
There was a job fair at the high school. Marines were there. I was about 98# I went up to the recruiter and said “I want to be a Marine” He laughed and told me to come back when I was older.
As a Sophmore, my family moved to Portland. I did start to apply myself in school. My new friends were well off, focused on getting into Ivy League schools. Well.. I did not want to be left out. I remember having conversations with my Mom. I was frustrated. Actually I was probably acting like a brat. I asked “Why can’t you just pay for me to go to school! All my friends’ parents are!?”
That’s when my step-dad said it. “Why don’t you go into the service like I did!”
Well fine, then I will! And so I did. Training seriously I had Bootcamp to go to.
I made it through grueling Marine Corps Bootcamp. I loved feeling strong, powerful. Holding my head high. Untouchable. That was their intention. I felt amazing. I was proud of myself for doing it. I loved hearing the response from people.. Admiration. The great feeling of serving my country.
I had to stay within a certain weight and maintain my fitness level. However, I also loved partying it up. I kept my weight and mood in check with exercise.
I got married and became a mother. This meant leaving to focus on a new life.
When I was pregnant I put it away. Especially Ice cream. Hell, why not. I was eating for 2 after all. I was huge!!
After having my son I was in shock at how big I was. I was upset. My husband told me “honey, you are not fat, you are just big boned” oh hell no. I wasn’t. So I exercised and did not eat. It was ramen noodles and diet coke. Soon I was barely 100#. Not really healthy.
As the years went along I had 3 sons. I went to nursing school. With every pregnancy, I’d eat and gain weight. A lot.
In fact, my eldest son who was only about 3 at the time said look Dad Mom looks like chilly willy. Nice.. a cartoon penguin. I kinda did. This was so embarrassing. I honestly did not care. I did not feel like a “woman”
I just felt like a waddling cartoon character anyway. I did not feel “real” I was numb.
We went to look at beds once and I layed down on one. I could not get up. My son had to go get Dad to save chilly willy. Very embarrassing.
I then went to nursing school. Another life change. I did not make time for myself. I did not exercise. I was busy working and studying and cleaning up my kids’ leftovers.
I did not look at myself in the mirror. I was a blob. I worked. I took care of kids and a husband. I kept a house. I did not see myself as anything else. I probably was miserable but too tired to even care. I did not feel like a woman. My marriage was distant. I was grouchy. I felt detached from my body.
My husband and I grew apart.I realized it and thought just maybe if I lost weight I would save our marriage. I ran. I did not eat healthy. I also drank to block out the pain.
I half-ass worked out. I really tried. I lost the weight. I But I still was not happy with myself.
Not too long after that another life change. My husband was in a near-fatal motorcycle wreck.
That changed me a lot.I began to appreciate life. I realized it is a gift. One minute you can have your health and the next your life is turned upside down.
Shortly after that, I found out how bad my dad’s health was. He had retired. He drank a lot. He did not take care of himself. I had not visited much. We talked on the phone. I tried to help him make changes. He would become angry and tell me I did not care. But I was being realistic. He could not care for himself. He wanted a quick fix. Years of neglecting himself caught up. I honestly did not know how bad. I received a call that the ambulance had to pick him up. He talked to me on the phone and sounded hopeful.
Unfortunately the next call I received was that he was gone. 62 years old!
I went to Oregon. I worked with my sister to clean up his place. Being there was so depressing. It was a mess. He had not taken care of anything.
He and my mom had divorced years before. He never moved forward.
I should have grieved more. Instead, I was angry. Angry because he did not take care of himself. He did not value himself enough to care for himself. It was his life, yes but it was sad that one could live like that and miss out on so much.
I had fallen into the same cycle. I let the stress get to me. I worked long hours. I did not make time for myself or exercise. My marriage was not the greatest. People grow apart. I was miserable and fat again.
I thought I could take matters into my own hands. I joined a gym! I went in and paid. I walked around and looked at things. I went in again a year later to cancel. I didn’t know what to do. All those fit people then there was me.
One morning getting ready for work I stumbled. Great I could not even tie my fucking shoes without losing my balance. I sat there and cried. I thought to myself “you’re just going to end up like your dad. Obese, miserable poor health. Not able to care for yourself and bitter.
My kids were grown. I felt so empty. I was lost. What the hell have I allowed myself to become. All I wore were scrubs and unflattering clothes.
But as I sat there. I knew I would not throw my life away. I would not live a life unhappy. I would not get to the point where I could not take care of myself like so many of the patients I saw. I knew what road I was on. My health was starting to show it.
I chose to take matters into my own hands. I did not want to die. I wanted to live.
I once again joined a gym. I walked in. I was wearing red scrubs I felt like a huge tomato when I saw the id pic the manager took.
She was so nice. She listened to me. I told her my story. Of course, I cried about it. She told me..” now if I don’t see you come in I will check on you”
I went in a couple of times. I looked at the machines. It had been so long since I did anything. I did a few machines all the time I just knew all those fit body skinny people were laughing at me. Not really but in my mind, that’s what I thought.
Good excuse to not go back right?
Not so. The Manager called me. She talked me into coming in to talk. Damn. Okay Fine. She had mentioned a PT before. Only rich people and people that needed cheerleaders had those. I knew because my husband had been into fitness and that’s what he would have said.
I was desperate. It was time I had no choice.
I said yes. Oh my God. I was so scared. I did not know what to expect.
My first sessions with my trainer were so difficult. My body would not move the way I wanted it to. It was frustrating. I felt stupid! Some exercises were so difficult. I pushed through.
I was awkward. I felt ridiculous and I was angry at myself.
All the time my trainer was patient. Full of energy. She was so motivating. Yet she was hard on me. She would ask me to do things that were uncomfortable but I did them. I knew what rehab patients probably felt like.
Some nights after coming home i would practically crawl out of my car.
As we worked out i remember looking around me. I was self conscious. She asked me what was wrong. I said “these people are looking at me” She grabbed my face and looked into my eyes.she said “you see these people here..they dont give a fuck about what you are doing. They are focused on their thing, you focus on your thing” Wow! From that moment on I had the confidence to come to the gym on my own. I put in my earbuds, I held my head high. I started feeling confident.
I became a gym rat. I worked out in the morning, in the evening. I discovered running. I started seeing muscles. I had body awareness. I made new friends. This was the best I had ever felt.
I had never been an athlete. But for the first time i “got it” I became competitive. Killing it in races. Placing first in many.
I never thought I could do such. I remember the 1st time getting runners high. It was amazing. Words cannot describe that feeling.. All those endorphins. It was better than sex I guess. I just smiled.
All the time I was recreating myself. I was redefining who I was.
I had developed a following on social media. People reached out to me feeling inspired.
I wanted to do more. I wanted to become a PT.
I had been a wife and mother for so long, without my own identity.
So it felt great to be me.
Despite objections at home, I pursued my goal of becoming a trainer. I remember my mom encouraging me. Telling me I would be good at it because I understood what it was like to be overweight and struggle.
I caught the eye of a woman on social media. She had her own story. She offered me a job. She needed a PT, assistant and a personal nurse. She was going to pitch a TV show in Hollywood.
She offered me a job. It paid very well. And wow the opportunity!
I was not happy at home. I had dreams to do more than what I was doing.
I had no idea what I was doing. But I jumped. I said yes!
I spent 37 days in Hollywood. It was crazy! Glitz, glamour. Connections. I felt like I was in a dream.
I kept working out Running through the Hollywood hills every morning. Going to events dressed up every night. It felt surreal.
For the first time in so long I was so happy.
In the meantime, my marriage of almost 30 years was crumbling. It was not growing with me.
I gave up the dream I was in to come home and try and make things work at home.
I opened my business out of my garage. Changing lives. It thrived. I loved helping others. It was my passion. I put everything into it.
Unfortunately, my marriage did not thrive.
Ending it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I had to learn so much. How to be independent. How to be self-reliant. I learned I had strength that I did not know I had.
In the midst of it so much happened. I had knee surgery. I fell attempting to start the tractor which led to a torn rotator cuff...as a result I lost my job.
I was out of work for 6 mos. I had no idea how I would make it.
Thankfully I still had my business. I worked out as I could. It was hell.
If it was not for my Tribe of clients/friends it would have been much more difficult.
They swooped in and helped me rebuild my gym.
The clients that came to me had similar stories.
Coming up out of adversity. Most of the time when I meet with prospective clients it is very emotional.
I made it through. I went back to work. I picked myself up.
I had a dream of traveling. I made it happen. I turned 51 at the Eiffel Tower in Paris. As I said I would.
Everything I do is what I want to do now. My goal is to inspire others to live. Despite adversity.
I have a passion for helping women become self confident, strong and self reliant through developing healthy habits mentally and physically.
To transform their lives from a life of not knowing who they are and what they want..to a woman who is filled with confidence and does not need permission from anyone to love and care for themselves.
This passion and vision is so much stronger than my fear of failure..failing myself or those women whose lives I have not touched yet.
I have a vision of traveling the world..and to share that adventure with others. Those who may not be able to..they can see it through my eyes.
My Coaching has no geographic limitations. Having an online option allows me to do this and to reach more women.
I want to inspire YOU!
Dreams of world travel and champagne in Paris may not be your dream..but I want YOU to have the courage to jump towards whatever Your "Paris" is.
You are welcome to keep coming back here to see new content. However, a better option is to subscribe to my newsletter! You will get updates on new posts and special content that is only available to my subscribers.
What I'm passionate about. it may start with losing weight, gaining muscle, getting strong enough to lift heavy shit. Or run a race...but we are so much more that that.
I stand for people to not be afraid..to realize their self worth..
I stand against "settling " and becoming complacent..thinking that you don't have a choices
I have fought tooth and nail to be who I am today. and I am still growing and learning. I fight like hell to help others to do the same.