I am a recovered anorexic. Please, don't stop. I've also lived the contrast: I've been overweight.
In my early 20’s I was heavily involved in drugs and alcohol abuse. I worked in a bar and had never considered a different lifestyle.
A friend asked if I wanted to go to the gym with her. We went and while working out I was approached by a fella who advised me I was doing the exercise wrong and showed me how to do it right. I was very grateful and became confident.
Next workout, I was approached by a different fella, who advised me I was doing the exercise wrong and showed me how to do it right. I was again very grateful and became even more confident. (I did wonder why the first guy lied to me though)
During my next workout I was approached by a different fella, who advised me I was doing the exercise wrong and showed me how to do it right. I was now confused and in that moment, decided to find the answer for myself. Seriously, this was THE moment that was about to shape the next two decades of my life. I stopped drinking. I stopped drugs. And I stopped working in bars.
I attended the YMCA fitness Instructor course (back when we wore leg warmers and the thong on the outside of our pants) and began leading classes. Desiring more, I returned to become Certified as a Personal Trainer providing one on one fitness coaching.
Shortly after, (I didn’t know it was happening at the time), I became involved in an abusive relationship with food—a twisted and possessive association. Food was my prison. I always thought about it. How NOT to eat it. How to convince other people I DID eat it. I worked out ALL THE TIME (and rarely ate) so I could have what I believed to be a great body. I honestly thought this was the best way for me to be lean and look great.
I didn't realize it, but I was killing myself so I could have a body of which total strangers would approve. Through my lies I destroyed connections with those closest to me so that I could be admired by people I didn't even know.
I know it sounds insane. But that was my reality at the time.
As a new Personal Trainer, I was excited to begin helping others and I began training individuals in their home and office. I built quite the business, although I got bored of that and wanted more, so I moved into a 24 thousand square foot gym and led a team of trainers. I did this for a number of years, before I moved into a medical environment and became part of a wellness team (chiropractic, massage, dietitian, fitness) helping individuals find health and wellbeing.
I did find help for my eating disorder and shortly after I expanded my career into the St. Joe’s hospital eating disorders program where I worked as the fitness expert, along side the dietitian and psychologist helping individuals into recovery from eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorders, and body image dissatisfaction). I was a part of this program until I moved to Calgary in 2004.
In my mid 30's 'life' happened, and food became my comfort. In an attempt to feel better during a tragic time of suicidal depression, I ate my way into a body that was 30 pounds heavier than healthy.
Imagine the contrast I created within. Obviously I hadn't dealt with the undercurrent of my relationship with self and food. I ate my way into a body I despised. I was tired, lethargic, cranky, and miserable to be around. Diagnosed with clinical depression, I suffered severe anxiety. Every day was a struggle.
And then I was gifted a book on Natural Nutrition from a work colleague with the suggestion I read it. I remember the circumstances clearly. I rocked back and forth in the fetal position said, "Brushing my teeth is a chore. How the hell can I read a book?"
Well, I did. And it transformed my life.
I learned how to eat my way into great health, more energy, and a fit body. Vibrant and alive, I began living the life I desired.
I immersed myself into Natural Nutrition and Wellness, and have had the privilege of stellar leaders—I've studied under Paul Chek, Lars Gustafsson and David Wolfe to name a few. Today, after continuing my studies, I am Certified Holistic Nutritionist, C.H.N., I am trained as a Holistic Lifestyle Coach, H.L.C., a 200 hour Iyengar Yoga Instructor and Reiki Master Teacher. I've devoted the last thirteen years (and still counting) to helping others discover the vitality in themselves by blending Natural Nutrition, Fitness, Yoga and Reiki Energy Balancing.
With my background as an anorexic, and having such a negative relationship with my body and food, (which was perpetuated by the fitness industry – competitive, vain, ego driven), it has become my mission to change the face of fitness one trainer at a time.
In 2000 I was invited to be part of the canfitpro PRO TRAINER Team. I have since provided Personal Training courses, exams and continuing education programs for thousands of fitness professionals across Canada. I have been awarded PRO TRAINER of the year by canfitpro.
Through my many courses, programs , events, and books, I help fitness professionals move away from fitness for appearance or performance only (this is one aspect but not all) and help create an environment where fitness programming can be about increasing energy, living well, feeling good and having the life one desires.
To me, personal training is a business of relationships, not a business of fitness programming. It’s more about seeing each individual for who they are, and where they are and then creating the right plan for them in that moment in their life. It's about having the skills, tools and ability to help them physically, nutritionally, and spiritually by blending fitness, nutrition and wellness on a daily basis in order to ensure the healthiest life patterns are available and shared.
Improper programming (cookie cutter fitness and nutrition programs) is the number one reason my clients have told me they stopped in the past. My greatest lesson over the last two decades in this industry is simple: Personal Training is not about ME, it’s about THEM. No one ever cared how fit and healthy I was, they only care how fit and healthy they can be.
Today, I live and breathe the concept of building bodies with soul. One Trainer at a time.
Holistic Nutritionist, C.H.N
Holistic Lifestyle Coach H.L.C.
Group Fitness Instructor
Iyengar Yoga Instructor
Reiki Master Teacher
VISION, MISSION AND CORE VALUES
To be the leading Trainer and chosen authority for fitness professionals in Canada, advocating building bodies with soul.
To move from ‘training the trainers’ to ‘growing the trainers’ by providing innovative soul-centred certification courses, interactive workshops, and dynamic events for fitness professionals. Evolved fitness, nutrition and wellness education, with emphasis on building bodies with soul, will result in a new generation of purposed trainers and healthier communities.
We need a shift in attitude, a new generation of fitness trainers, a professional overhaul, because building bodies with ego can negatively impact those interested in living a healthier lifestyle and limit the success of the personal trainer. Building from the heart and soul eliminates body shaming and ego-driven competition. In the past, vanity-focused results have eroded self-worth and self- acceptance. A mission driven by building bodies with soul brings a new image to the fitness industry and allows a positive impact on individuals and communities.
COMMITTED TO PERSONAL GROWTH
Always working toward enhancing personal growth and supporting the growth of others.
DAILY GRATITUDE AND CELEBRATION
Striving to celebrate all experiences with heartfelt gratitude for the gift of each experience.
RELATIONSHIPS AND TRUST
Building trustful relationships by following through on commitments, being accountable, reliable, and dependable.
Providing a space of freedom to speak one’s truth openly without judgement.
Choosing to do what is right over what is ‘easy’—all the time
MINDFULNESS AND RESPECT
Being mindful of one another’s uniqueness and respecting all individuals for who and where they are.
SUPPORT AND EMPOWERMENT
Empowering individuals by providing ongoing support through teachings, love, and acceptance.