I am a 47 year old wife and mom to 4 boys (Jacob, 20, Noah, 18, Dylan, 18, and Roman, 9). I love football (Go Bills!) food, fitness and travel. Most of all, I love coaching moms to help them find health and happiness!
Growing up in Buffalo, NY, I have always been surrounded by delicious, but often unhealthy foods. (Chicken wings with blue cheese, anyone?). I had pretty typical American eating habits most of my life. But I’ve always enjoyed physical activity, so I was never extremely overweight. I was a dancer for over 30 years, and I played soccer in high school. I also love skiing & water sports.
But I was often sick as a kid. You could practically mark on the calendar that I would get strep throat 2-3 times a year. And I always had what I thought was IBS. I grew up in a big Italian family, and I absolutely loved lasagna and cannoli! When I discovered I was lactose intolerant, I was devastated. How could I possibly live without cheese?!
I just never took all the weight off before getting pregnant with my twins. That pregnancy triggered something, and my “IBS” got a lot worse really quickly. It took several years, but I was eventually diagnosed with Celiac Disease. As difficult as that was to hear, I was so glad to know what was wrong, and how to solve the problem. So, I cut out all gluten & dairy, and began to feel better. But, I was still eating a lot of typical, processed foods, so a lot of my symptoms lessened, but didn’t go away.
After the birth of my twins, I was pretty unhappy with how I looked and felt. My body was not able to fully recover from carrying twins (I’m only 5’2”, and so there isn’t a lot of space for babies) and I had a Diastasis Recti that was so bad, I was having constant pain in my back, and regularly pulling other muscles, because my abs were just not able to support my core. I ended up needing surgery to correct that issue.
I KNEW SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE
In an effort to get back into shape, and also have some “me time” I signed up for some adult dance classes at my old studio. But I found that I was having difficulty keeping up, so I stopped going after about 2 years.
When the twins were about 3, my mother passed away from ovarian cancer at age 52, after a nearly 5 year battle. That was a devastating blow, and a truly defining moment in my life. I became very interested in cancer prevention, and began doing a lot of research on the subject.
About this time, a friend introduced me to the Insanity workout program by Shaun T. We decided to do the program together, and keep each other accountable. I would work out at 8pm, after the boys were in bed. Some days I didn’t feel like working out, but knowing I had an accountability partner helped me press play on every workout. At the end of that 60 day program, I had lost 12 pounds, and I felt so much better! I signed back up for dance classes, and I was able to keep up and actually enjoy dance again!
I wanted to keep going, so I signed up for a free Team Beachbody account, and began following one of their meal plans while I did another round of Insanity. I lost another 8 pounds, and I was finally at the point where I was comfortable in my own skin. All my clothes fit, and I felt good in them!
In October of 2012, I got the news that my best friend needed a kidney transplant. I immediately got tested, and found out I was a match! We had the surgery on December 10th. My surgeon told me I was one of the healthiest donors he had ever seen. It was such a blessing to be able to help my best friend, but also to know that the fitness & health journey I had begun a few years earlier meant I was able to save someone’s life. I truly believe it was God’s plan all along for me to get my health in order when I did.
After recovering from that surgery (I wasn’t allowed to do any workouts for 6 months) I jumped back into my Team Beachbody account and started with Hip Hop Abs. Then I progressed back up to Insanity again.
I remember posting on Facebook about being so happy to be able to work up a sweat again. A friend saw my post and messaged me. She was a Beachbody Coach, and she asked if I wanted to join her next challenge group. I was so excited to be part of that challenge! Having a group of people supporting me on my journey was amazing. It makes all the difference in sticking with your plan!
After a few months, I decided to add Shakeology to my routine. That was truly one of the best decisions I have ever made. It gave me more energy, squashed my cravings, and helped alleviate my remaining celiac symptoms. Plus, I lost another 10 pounds. All together, I have lost about 22 pounds with Beach Body programs and nutrition, and have kept it off for 6 years!
I was so happy with everything Beach Body has brought to my life, that I decided to become a coach. Another truly great decision. This company, this community, is truly one of the most positive, caring, uplifting groups of people I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. It is so rewarding to know that I have helped others become happier, healthier versions of themselves.
Throughout my journey, I have continued to improve my life in other ways as well. I began working on my own mindset and discovered how much is truly possible when you believe you can! As Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
Mindset is the foundation of long-term success in any endeavor, including getting fit and healthy.
Because this is such an important component in reaching your health and fitness goals, I teach mindset transformation to all my clients, and have recently begun speaking on the subjects of mindset and fitness.
I have also continued to study the relationship between food and health. After reading many books and studies, and listening to expert speakers on this subject, I became a whole food, plant based vegan. It is amazing to know that I can control my own health by what I put into my body. Illness is not inevitable. You can do something about it!
Today, I am the fittest and healthiest
I have ever been!
I love knowing that I am leading by example in my family. My husband and 3 older sons all drink Shakeology and follow Beachbody programs, and my little guy is growing up eating clean, nutritious foods and learning the importance of staying fit.
I now have a team of coaches that are all finding fulfillment in helping others get fit and healthy too. I love helping other mom’s discover the freedom of building their own businesses while helping others and getting healthy themselves!