I used to weigh over 300 pounds. I have battled my weight my whole life. At my highest weight I had Type 2 Diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and could barely walk some days due to debilitating joint pain. That is all in the past now after a health improvement journey centred around modifying habits and behaviours that had me shed more than 150 pounds, all of the health conditions, and led me to my current work as a health coach and fitness trainer.
I love walking this path with people - whether they want to change their weight, blood pressure, confidence, self-image, energy levels, or develop new knowledge and skills - I am here to navigate the way. People are capable of so much more than they realize. Whether it is empowering weight management clients to make different choices or encourage a fitness participant to try something new - I love watching people do more than they ever thought possible.
I hold a Master degree in Social Work which gives me a unique perspective from that of other health care professions because we explore ALL of the factors that contribute to health. It is not only food or only exercise. It is sleep, work, family responsibilities, recreational time and much, much more.
I am SCOPE Certified (Strategic Centre for Obesity Professional Education) through World Obesity, a Fitness Instructor Specialist through CanFitPro, and a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I was featured as a Forks Over Knives Success Story in theSpring 2020 publication, an Athlete with Impact in Impact magazine and have been interviewed by Global TV and James Fell for the Chicago Tribune.
MY HEALTH JOURNEY
After my youngest child was born, my weight had peaked at over 300 pounds, I had type two diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and my mobility had gotten so bad it was difficult to move some days. I had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism years before and struggled with obesity since childhood. I had tried everything it seemed: points counting, meetings, fad diets, a personal trainer, hypnosis...the list goes on and on. At one point I had a doctor tell me that maybe this was just the way it was and to accept it. The trouble was my health (or lack thereof) was impacting my ability to live my fullest life.
In 2015, I was invited to appear on television and when I caught sight of myself on the monitor as we went live, the wind was knocked out of me. I didn't recognize myself. I knew what my clothing size was, I had just bought a new outfit for the appearance, but in my mind that is not how I pictured myself. I had four young children and progressive obesity related conditions. Something needed to shift. As a social worker I knew about the possibility of change (even though I had tried so many things before) and so, with some research, my professional knowledge, my experience as a certified fitness instructor, and some tenacity, I started to make small, sustainable changes. Two years later I had lost over half of my body weight and now maintain that loss. I now blend my personal experience and professional skills to support others along their health journeys.