About 18 years ago I was trying desperately to lose weight. I was pushing 200 pounds as a sophomore at TCU. Later that year when I moved out of the dorms and let go of my dining-hall card, I started cooking for myself and released 20 pounds without trying. However, I had never felt comfortable in my skin and it was now my senior year. All my girl-friends were going on a cruise for spring break and we wanted to look hot.
Do you remember Metabolife? It was the ephedra-based diet pill that is now illegal. Basically, it was legal speed marketed as a diet pill. They sold big-ass bottles of it at Costco. One of my friends had her family’s membership card, so she bought each of us our own supply. It was GAME ON!
We all started to get skinny. I was taking the maximum dose. I’ll never forget one day deciding, “maybe taking this much isn’t good for me.” I was sitting in the TCU cafeteria drinking my forth Red Bull of the day, with my arms folded, head resting on my arms, exhausted. Nope. Not even 4 Red Bulls could wake me up after being on crack for several months.
I met Jacob, during that season. He had just started his weight-loss journey, doing the Slim Fast plan. You know it, right? A shake for breakfast, another for lunch and a reasonable dinner. He had already dropped 50 pounds, so I joined him down this path.
About a month before graduation I got a bladder infection. I went to the student med center for antibiotics. Unfortunately, the pain associated with the bladder infection didn’t go away. I went back weekly until I graduated at the end of May. They kept finding blood in my urine. I was still in severe pain. They kept trying different antibiotics. Nothing worked.
No one ever took the time to ask me what I was putting into my body or what was going on in my personal life – until I met Dr. Tao Lee. Jacob was seeing him for chiropractic care, but his forte was eastern medicine. Jacob talked me into seeing him. When something isn’t working for you, the best thing is to try something new, right? I had been on and off of antibiotics for a year and was fed up.
As I said, Dr. Lee was the first health care provider to dig into my life and what was going on with me. He discovered that my symptoms started right before I graduated from college and after I met Jacob. Dr. Lee told me that the stress from graduating college (and being financially independent from my parents for the first time in my life), increased sexual activity and added stress from the diet pills were causing infectious symptoms in my pelvic area and the sugar from the Slim Fast was affecting my body’s ability to heal. I had an energy blockage and was out of balance. His prescription – get off the sugar-filled supplements and start practicing yoga.
And, so I did.
I joined 24 Hour Fitness and started taking classes twice a week. One night I wandered into a hip hop aerobics class. Before I knew it, I was there weekly too, reigniting my childhood passion for dance. After six months of dedicated practice, my bladder pain was gone, and I no longer needed the asthma meds I had been on since childhood. WTF? Yes, really! By body was changing at a cellular level!
I got certified as a Group Exercise Instructor and started my yoga education. It seemed over night my life shifted gears. Before we had kids, I managed gyms for 4 years. I taught almost all forms of group fitness for over a decade. It was a great way to stay in shape and get paid to workout, but teaching classes barely paid for diapers. When the boys were little, I started the Beachbody coaching thing because it was a great business opportunity for me. I was teaching Turbo Kickboxing in the gym and Turbo Jam and Turbo Fire was and still is a Beachbody program. I so desperately wanted a platform to help others who couldn’t make it to my classes.
Although I LOVE cardio-dance, I realized while teaching a Zumba class it was time to move on. I was guiding about 50 people when I caught myself making my grocery list in my head! Hello!?!? WFT?!?
I found myself asking, “If I can be this checked out mentally and I’m teaching, is anyone here mentally present?”
I knew then and there it was time for me to let go of choreography. Our culture spends enough time playing “follow the leader.” I want people to feel consciously and tap into presence – and so that’s where I am today.
I value and appreciate fitness, nutrition and all the aspects in that regard. However, through my experience, I’ve found that in the fitness world there are two types of yoga instructors. 1) Group X instructors that have been to yoga teacher-trainings; and 2) Yogis who teach. I am a Yogini and am overjoyed to call a studio my home now.
Yoga not only helped me overcome several physical ailments, but I no longer struggle as intensely with anxiety and depression as I did before. Yoga has helped me calm my mind, find peace and balance. I practice daily, meditate and study ancient texts. Through Self-discovery, one is given the power of presence and the ability to heal one’s-self through elevation of consciousness.
I’m happy to be on this journey with you and I look forward to having you in one of my classes or workshops! However, if you’re not local and yearn to get started – I’m here for you! You know how to find me…
Until next time….
Peace, Love and Fairy Dust!