The Wellness Company, a fitness, health and wellness lifestyle brand promotes alternatives to Walgreens and CVS. We feel it is imperative for all of us be exposed to opportunities that alleviate negative influences from career, food choices, and living a sedentary lifestyle.
My non-traditional journey to becoming a full-time trainer allows me to be able to better motivate and connect with my clients because I can relate to them so well.
I spent most of my childhood as a precocious and outgoing kid, but I was always the largest in the classroom. My family has a history of obesity and obesity related chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers; it’s just always been part of my world. In school, my size made me think I had to be prove I was "normal," so I tried out for and made the cheerleader squad, very aware that I didn't look like any of the other girls. I juggled being an academic scholar with the demands of being an athlete. Looking back now, I see that making this squad was the beginning of my understanding of fitness and how important it is to health and wellbeing.
Professionally, I first entered the world of fitness back in 2003 when, as a full-time college student at Tuskegee University, I sold gym memberships and offered personal training at a popular gym in Auburn, AL. This was a job I loved; it was rewarding to watch clients get stronger and I needed those positive boosts to help me though the struggles of losing my mother to obesity related complications earlier that year.
I graduated in 2004 with bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and physics and turned down a job offer to become General Manager at a local gym to take the more stable route and accepted a job in Boston.
Shortly after moving to Boston, I started business school, set a goal of becoming an entrepreneur, and was head-down focused on my career and ambitions. Looking back now, it's unsurprising that this is when my weight really started to increase. I was entirely focused on my career's health and not on my own health and wellbeing. Over the next 10 years, I started to travel a lot internationally for work, gained more weight, and in 2015 I was diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure. I also was pre-diabetic. This was the turning point for me: it was time to take control of my health. Seeing the perils of unhealthiness in my mom wasn't enough to trigger the lifestyle changes necessary to make the switch; it was the first-hand experience of my doctor telling me that my health was seriously at risk.
Just before my 38th birthday, I changed my diet and started exercising regularly. When I found myself starting to think that going to the gym was inconvenient, I took that out of my psyche by hiring an in-home personal trainer. Over a year, while still working full time in my corporate job, I lost 50 pounds and gained back confidence and drive. Upon returning to my doctor, my bloodwork came back at healthy levels. I had taken control of my health.
In 2018, I needed major surgery on my shoulder. While recovering on the couch, I had the time necessary to look within and think about what I really wanted for my life. I was feeling great physically after taking control of my health, but I still had a lot of stress, boredom, and a lack of fulfillment from my job. I realized how fulfilled I'd feel if the backbone of my career was my passion for fitness, instead of some corporate ladder. I got excited. My whole life, personal and professional, could be focused on the thing that changed my life and made me excited to wake up every morning.
In 2019, I retired from corporate America to focus full-time on personal training and building my wellness brand, thereby fulfilling my goal of becoming an entrepreneur. My whole world is around promoting health, fitness, and wellness, and I am proud to have taken full control of both my health and my career. With the help of Julie Dileo, Owner of Women's Fitness of Boston, I now have a safe space to develop professionally and serve the community by promoting health and wellness. The services I offer are the exact ones that were so critical to me when I needed them most, and I feel blessed to be able to help other people find the joy in health that I have found. If I had taken the job managing the gym right out of college, I wouldn't be nearly the trainer I am today. Since I have lived these struggles so thoroughly myself, I'm better able to help my clients reach their goals. Be Well.