My Fitness Journey – The LONG Version: Let me tell you a little bit more.
I have always struggled with my weight and yo-yo dieted and exercised pretty much my entire life! I always felt like the “big” girl, thanks to my Dutch genes. But back in 2010, when my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer, I decided that enough was enough and I needed to figure out what lifestyle changes would create the best version of me, and so began my most recent health and wellness journey.
I started working out at home and then decided that I wanted to run my first 5K. So I trained with the C25K, and ran my race just before my 45th birthday. Then in Aug 2010, my mom succumbed to her cancer and the light went out in my world. I ate away my feelings and ended up regaining close to 30 lbs over the next year and a half. As miserable as I was, I also knew that sharing in my mom’s lifelong troubles with weight and diet was not going to be part of my life any longer. I made the decision to start again, working out at home and recommitted myself to figuring out what truly worked for me to live my most healthy and fit life. After dropping some pounds, a friend suggested that I start going to her husband’s gym for their ladies bootcamp. I had never set foot in a real gym,…EVER! I was terrified, mortified by my weight, my own fear, and intimidated by the equipment and the thought that I would make a fool of myself!! However, I loved the bootcamp, the other ladies and my own competitive spirit and determination that welled up within me. Plus I loved the feeling of being strong and empowered. I learned a lot about myself, about fitness, lifting, and nutrition. Months later, I decided to hire the trainer that was running the bootcamp, as my personal trainer and my life changed forever! She helped me to love what my body could do not just what it could look like. I learned what my determination could achieve and how to really make body and lifestyle changes.
I am seriously goal oriented and in 2013, I told my trainer that I wanted to get fit enough to run a Spartan Race. And in June 2013, I ran the Super Spartan race at Tremblant. Up and down the mountains, in a 15-20 km race with 40 + obstacles, mud and water was everything I never knew I wanted to conquer, but I did it!!! What an achievement and a moment of pride for a “non-athlete”.
I continued to push myself in the gym and to reach other training goals but I was unsatisfied with some other areas of my life. On Jan 6th 2014, I had an “a- ha moment!” I had been struggling with the idea that my life was supposed to have more purpose and meaning than what my current career (as a wedding planner) was currently giving me. On that day, I happened upon a website for a woman whose story really resonated with me. She was offering a weekend seminar for women on health, wellness and life coaching. So I signed up and went on a “me” weekend to figure “stuff” out. After some introspection I realized that I have always loved helping people, and have had some participation and interest in fitness. The pieces of my puzzle were coming together!
I also realized that in elementary school, I was 1 of 3 leaders of our lunchtime fitness program. In high school I took part in sports and got my Level 1 certification to coach Curling. In my 20’s and 30’s I took aerobics and aquatics and helped on a few occasions to teach those classes. This was all a very interesting walk down memory lane but I had no idea what to do with the information. I was still enjoying my job and not really sure what to make of all the insights I had unearthed, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to be doing something that had more meaning. In early 2014, I had a conversation with a friend because we both felt like we were at crossroads in our lives and wondering what next career paths to take. We both agreed that doing something we were passionate about was the best course of action. And so in my late 40’s, because of my passion for fitness I decided to get my certification as a Personal Trainer.
As life would have it, in 2015, I found myself out of a job and as scared as I was, I knew it was time to start my own business as a Personal Trainer. I had started and owned a couple of small businesses previously and I knew I did not want to work for anyone else OR work in a gym. I wanted this to be ME, one- on- one with women offering to help them achieve their own empowering level of health and fitness. My own memories of the fear I felt going into that gym the first time made me decide to offer my services as a “mobile/in home” trainer to women who are intimidated by the fitness industry due to their fear, insecurity, poor self image or whatever the case may be. I believe that every woman deserves to look and be the best version of herself and it should not be hindered by time, location or lack of support. I offer my services at their convenience, their location and offer them unwavering, unconditional encouragement!
I want women to know they are not alone. I listen to my clients’ stories, their struggles and defeats and I celebrate their victories. Why am I qualified to do this with them and for them? Because I am just like them!!! What is most important is how THEY feel about their body, not what someone else says they should feel or how they should look. Even though I am in the fitness industry, I am being completely transparent when I say that I still struggle with loving my body no matter what it looks like. I can tell you from experience that loving your body and wanting it to be different, is OK. There is no hypocrisy in wanting to change your body while still learning to love it in all of its perceived imperfections. But, like I said, it’s a journey to health and fitness….like a marathon, not a sprint.
None of us have it ALL figured out. But we need to remember, we are fearfully and wonderfully made and some of us are further along in our self acceptance. So run the race set before you and do it to the best of your current abilities. I have been where you are and change can be daunting but I will be with you every step of the journey, if you will allow me the honour of coaching you!
In health and fitness,