So many parts make up a person, and I’m no different. I’m an author and wellness coach, but I’m also a deep thinker who loves God fiercely and a wife and mom who counts her blessings daily. I juggle a lot of hats in a week, but they all point to the same goal — growing in health and faith.
I count it a privilege to inspire others, whether it’s leading a fitness class, writing a book or blog post, or speaking to an audience about their unique design.
My photos show a happy face, but I’ve walked through some really tough stuff. My happy face is solely the result of God’s grace and love. I’m so thankful He pulled me out of the dark pit and called me His daughter!
To read my story and learn more about the hats I wear, keep reading below.
Most authors say they grew up with a pen in their hand, but I was a little slower to embrace my calling.
I had a writer’s gene tucked away somewhere deep inside me, but when I went to college, my practical side won out. After getting my degree in accounting and business management, I worked as a CPA in Corporate America for eight years. I got married in the meantime and started a family, but the arrival of my firstborn caused medical complications that left me questioning my purpose.
I spent a year-and-a-half on long-term disability, going through multiple surgeries and restrictions that kept me from caring for my newborn son. Depression and suicidal thoughts were regular companions. I felt worthless to everyone and saw no way out.
And then…I received a gift. My mother-in-law brought me a bag of books to read, figuring I’d enjoy something to pass the time. As I read these stories and words, I started to see beyond my pain, and a glimmer of hope was planted.
I felt a prompting to dust off my creative side and let the words flow. And so I did. They flowed and flowed until years later, I had articles and manuscripts and stories filling my computer’s hard drive. The experience was cathartic and the more I wrote, the more I fell in love with the process of letting my Savior shape my dreams.
I made it through my medical issues fully healed, gave birth to another child, went through a major physical transformation (more on that below), and left the corporate world to focus on being a mom and freelance writer. I started out writing fiction and signed with an agent, who helped me get my work into a few book collections. But I kept dreaming of seeing my name on my own book cover someday.
Not too long ago, I took a big step toward that dream.
This girl who thought she would only write novels felt a prompting to switch directions. I didn’t know exactly how I was supposed to write non-fiction, but I knew God wanted me to use my passion for health and wellness in a new way.
A year later, I signed a contract with Harvest House Publishers for a non-fiction book — and yes, it has my name on the cover!
My favorite thing about this news? My book takes my broken journey and uses it for good, providing prayers of hope for those facing chronic illness and pain. That dark journey I walked after my son’s birth wasn’t in vain. God has brought me full circle.
I don’t know where He’ll take me next, but I’m learning to let it all go and hold on for the ride.
When most people find out I’m a fitness instructor and wellness coach, they assume I’ve always been a health fanatic — one of those skinny girls who’s never had to go on a diet in her life. I wish I was lucky enough to be one of “those” girls, but I’m not.
In addition to the surgeries after my son’s birth, my health challenges piled on during my second pregnancy. I was put on partial bed rest and sought comfort in fried chicken sandwiches and ice cream Blizzards from Dairy Queen every day. After my daughter was born, I faced a new level of stress, putting my kids’ needs first until I tucked them into bed at night and bingeing on junk food as my reward for surviving.
A year later my habits caught up with me in the form of excess weight and frequent gallbladder attacks. When the attacks hit, I was stuck in bed for days at a time, the pain knocking me out. After the medical issues from my son’s birth, there was no way I wanted to go back to the O.R. to have my gallbladder removed.
So with the encouragement of a crunchy-granola friend, I cleaned up my diet and started exercising…with a baby and a preschooler at home. One year later, my gallbladder attacks had stopped for good. Two years later, I’d lost 20% of my body weight.
I was so hooked on my new lifestyle, I decided to become a group exercise instructor. Then I took it a step further and earned my certification as a wellness and nutrition coach.
I’m nowhere near perfect, but I’m grateful for this new start.
My favorite thing about my job? I love bringing life-coaching tools into the health world and seeing people’s eyes light up for the first time. Once you create a personalized plan that fits YOUR life and schedule, you’ll never be the same again.
It’s not just diet, fitness, weight, and measurements. It’s a change that happens from the inside out.
In case you missed it earlier, I have a husband and two kids. 🙂
I married my college sweetheart, and God blessed us with kiddos who make us laugh and keep us on our toes every single day. My husband is an entrepreneur, so there’s no shortage of creativity in our house! We’re busy just like the typical American family, but we make time to play together, read piles of books, and go on adventures and road trips together.
My family keeps me grounded. Whether I’m hiding away with my laptop or running off to teach a class, I’m thankful God gave me this crew of people to call “home.”
1. I have almost 1,000 songs on my iPod.
2. My bucket list includes visiting all 50 states and 7 continents. (Still working on that one.)
3. I’m a huge tea fanatic and currently have over 18 varieties in my pantry.
4. I’ve survived a volcanic eruption. (It happened in Mexico City while on a mission trip in high school.)
*header images by Christian Barreno / Imaging by Christian