My journey to overall health and wellness... Thanks for coming along!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


How I went from this:

to this:

Long before I became a Pilates Instuctor my life was centered around my core. In 2001 I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. For those of you who may not know what that is- I certainly didn't- it is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the GI tract, especially the colon. Lately I have been thinking about how far I have come in the last (almost) 10 years since that diagnosis. I was 18 years old, and it was devastating. It would have been very easy to allow my disease to control my life and defeat me. In fact, I did for a little while. I let it win at first. I stayed in bed for a whole month straight, and I could have easily stayed there forever. The word "chronic" felt so final and hopeless. I felt horrible and sick and was totally depressed. There were a lot of "Why me" moments. Until, finally, there came a moment when I had to say- "What do I want my life to be?" and the answer was not "Crohn's Disease," so I got out of bed. Did I feel like a million bucks right when I made that decision? Not even close, but I had a life to live, and that wasn't going to happen lying in bed feeling sorry for myself.

Fast forward (not forgetting that it took a lot of time and patience to get here) to now, which brings me to Pilates... honestly, if on the same day I got my diagnosis the doctor also told me I would be teaching Pilates in 10 years, I probably would have laughed; but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense... Maybe it was because of the "weakness" in my middle, that I was so attracted to the core strengthening of Pilates... And now, here I am actually earning a living from it; and feeling happier (and healthier) than I have in years! How beautifully ironic... I am so grateful for my "weakness", because it showed me how strong I really am.

For those of you who, like me, have been dealt a less than desirable hand, that's no excuse not to do and experience everything you want to. There don't have to be boundaries, obstacles maybe, but that's what makes us who we are.
Instead of "I can't do this because...", say "I can do this...(period)" Who knows, maybe you will find your calling... ;)

**All of that being said, I can not stress enough that you know your own body better than anyone. Please listen to it. And if you are seeing to a doctor, listen to him/her. If rest is what you need, then rest. It's not only about pushing yourself physically, it's about pushing yourself mentally. What I am encouraging you to do is not let your brain dwell on, and get overwhelmed by the negativity that can come from bad news - whether it be a poor health diagnosis, a death, a break up/divorce, a lost job... the list goes on and on. Take the time you need to cope (remember my month in bed?) and then get up. I promise it will be worth it.

Photo 1: Getty images
Photos 2&3: Jay Sullivan

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