My Wellness Journey

It feels paramount to me that I share my story with you so you understand my passion for this space, why I want to help others and quite frankly why I’m qualified to walk with you in your wellness journey.

It’s deeply personal, makes me feel a little vulnerable, but ultimately I am extremely proud of my growth and I want to share what I’ve learned with others in the hopes that they can also live well and be the best version of themselves.

Senior Year Color Guard

Senior Year Color Guard

I think it makes sense to go way back here and share that I have had body image issues for as long as I can remember. Weighing myself as a kid, never feeling as thin as my friends, coping with feelings using food. Those habits were deeply rooted in me and lasted, well they still show themselves sometimes. Wellness has no end point, it is a lifetime of work on our physical and mental health. In high school I was very active, participating in color guard year round. When I was 18 and graduated from high school I moved out of my family home and started my freshman year of college. This is where the real weight roller coaster began. The “freshman 15” was a very real thing for me, and maybe more. For the next 5 years I fluctuated in weight, life and relationships. Some years doing better than others, in all areas. This is the time I found a real enjoyment in working out and running. It became part of who I was, part of my day.

In the fall of 2003 I moved from South Florida, where I’d been born and raised and lived the first 23 years of my life, to Milwaukee, WI. This is where you raise your eyebrows and say “whaaaaa??”. An ex-boyfriend! Moving to WI from FL was a bit of culture shock and moving in the winter time was even tougher. The ex and I were together for 2 years before ending our relationship and parting ways. This was a very dark time in my life. I was living someplace so far away from family and close friends and coping with emotions by eating and drinking.

During this time my passion for fitness stayed in tact, thank goodness, since I don’t know where I would be otherwise. I started running longer distances, marathons and half marathons but I also kept coping with my emotions with food. I gained a significant amount of weight.

Lakefront Marathon 2005

Lakefront Marathon 2005

I knew I was heavier than I wanted to be, but because I was so active I never saw myself as heavy as I actually was. Looking back however it’s astonishing to me. In my early 30’s I realized I needed to clean up my act. Emotionally and physically. I started disconnecting from any relationships that were not serving me and even more importantly were detrimental to my emotional health. When I started doing this I finally started seeing changes in my physical health. I made better food choices, drink choices, life choices. Our emotional and physical health are so closely tied together. During this time I met and married my husband and I started to understand what a healthy relationship looked like, true love and friendship. As my emotional health improved so did my physical health.

I kept running but after years of carrying more weight than I should have it took a toll on my knees and I was in desperate need of finding alternative workouts that I enjoyed as much as running but without the high impact on my joints. I also started to research and understand my nutrition, portion sizes, ingredients, what made me feel good/bad. I started taking Barre classes and then teaching Barre, completed my Group Fitness Certification and have launched my passion project, Barreista Be Well. Finding so much joy in helping others, spreading my love of living well, which encompasses all parts of health, I knew this was a calling for me.

Given my own experiences, trials and errors and how I found whole-istic health I want to share what I’ve learned and help others find a way to live their life well.

I believe in balance and enjoying life in a healthy way. I don’t believe in deprivation, but rather moderation and healthier choices. I would be honored to walk this journey with you, helping you achieve your wellness goals by providing a highly personalized level of accountability.

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I graduated from Florida International University in 2003 with a Bachelors of Arts in Women’s Studies and Psychology.

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Certified in Barre, Spinning and Group Fitness.