In 2010, I embarked on my own health and wellness journey. Overweight and riddled with anxiety, I knew that there had to be a better way to live and feel. I became keenly aware of the relationship between healthy choices and personal well-being, so I committed myself to learn as much as I could.
Although my story is unique to me, it was not long before I realized that many others face similar struggles. Drawing from my own experiences and education, I created PFN Coaching to support others achieve their lifestyle goals and help guide them down their own path to wellness.
Our pasts help shape who we are and how we arrive at a place to make a change. I grew up in North Vancouver, in a chaotic home with my mom, dad, and sister. We did not have much money and we did not own a car, so getting to the grocery store or the laundromat meant long trips on the bus. My parents split up when I was 16, but I found happiness in high school sports like basketball and rugby, and I was a good athlete. I remember feeling strong, fast, and unbeatable. After graduation, I started partying and drinking heavily, which lead to eating terrible foods. Looking back, I was probably blowing off some steam and soothing some of the anger from my childhood.
By the age of 22, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and my drinking was out of control, which caused significant issues at work and problems in relationships, and it became something that would control my life for the next 10 years. I am sharing my personal story with you because I want you to know that no matter what has brought you to where you are today, you can move forward and make a positive change in your life.
In 2007 I had reached 260 pounds. Looking in the mirror, I was no longer the jock I was in high school. I remember standing beside my family in the lineup for a 5km race, ready to run with my daughter strapped into her stroller, and a venti Java Chip Frappuccino in my hand. I thought I had this in the bag, but I was so wrong. In reality, I was a hot, sweaty mess, and I was having difficulty breathing. I couldn’t believe I was unable to run the race. I mean come on, I was only 29 years old… I should have been able to run for at least part of it, right?
It was at that moment, with little to no energy, and very low self-esteem, that I realized I had to make a change. I was fed up with how I felt physically and emotionally.
Change isn’t easy, and unfortunately, it doesn’t happen overnight. I spent my free time reading books about diet and exercise and I committed to making fitness and nutrition a priority in my life. Consistency brought me to where I am today.
I started off by eating a veggie diet to lose some weight and ran to get my cardio. I continued that for a couple of years, and although I did lose some weight, I found that I had lost a lot of my strength too. I felt weak, so I changed my diet and re-introduced lean meats and strength training, and that made a huge difference. “They” say you can’t be a runner and lift weights, but I call BS on that. I think strength is key to being a good runner.
In searching for the right diet, I found myself wanting to learn more about nutrition, so I took a leap of faith and went to a seminar led by Mike Dolce, who is a well-known trainer in the UFC. I learned so much during his seminar and fell in love with the idea of helping others find health and nutrition. I realized that so many people out there are struggling just like I was.
That seminar encouraged me so much that I became a Certified Nutrition Coach in 2015. I learned as much as I could, took all the courses I needed to, and read as many books as possible. I have always believed that what you eat is way more important than the exercise you do, because honestly, you can’t outwork what you eat!
In 2016, I combined my knowledge of nutrition with proper exercise and became a Certified Personal Trainer. I took a second leap of faith and asked a friend if she would be willing to take a chance with me and be my first “client”. She said yes and with lots of hard work, sweat, and I am sure a few tears, she had amazing results! After that, things kind of just snowballed. One client turned into five, five turned into ten, and so on until now, 3 years later, I am training more than 100 one-on-one clients, I teach 4-6 classes per week in my home gym, and each of my clients have lost between 5-50 pounds! As well, I have an amazing team of instructors who help teach classes at the PFN gym.
Today I am 40 years old, 205 pounds, 6 years sober, and I feel amazing! I have lost 55lbs and I have so much more energy! It took a long time, a lot of hard work, and constantly reaching out of my comfort zone, but the end result, both mentally and physically, was so worth it.
Discover the impact a new health & fitness routine could have on every aspect of your life.