1. What made you want to get into health and wellness? 

In February 2007 I was sitting at home feeling overweight and miserable.  Six months had passed since I had given birth to my third child, but I was still 50 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight.  The main issue was not that I was holding on to the weight because of the pregnancy, it was because I was living a sedentary lifestyle.  I loved food.  I loved to snack and I was an overeater.  I tipped the scales at 192 pounds and was a size 16.  This was quite a bit of weight for someone that was 5’ 2”.

In my home, I had a treadmill, stationary bike, weights and every exercise tape you could ever imagine. Although I had all this equipment at my fingertips, I still was not motivated enough to use them. One day I made a decision to go shopping for a gym.  I found one and joined that day. This began my weight loss journey and the revelation of God’s purpose for my life. 

Initially, I prayed for weight loss so that I could feel better and fit back into my clothing. As I started losing weight and feeling better, my goals and prayers began to change. I prayed to not only look and feel good, but I prayed for others to see me this way. I knew that if they witnessed my success, they too would want to get to the same point.

It took a lot of prayer, sweat and tears. I fell short and felt I couldn’t do it.  I began to think it was meant for me to be fat. I would overindulge and attempted to offset it by working out double the next day. I justified eating a whole cake or family size bag of M&M’s by blaming life’s circumstances. I even went as far as to research anorexia and bulimia to see which one would benefit me the most in my quest to lose weight. Through it all, I stayed prayerful.  With God’s guidance, I forged forward. If I fell short, I got back up dusted myself off and started over again.  Eventually, I learned to stay consistent with my diet and exercise. 

By September 2007 I had lost 22 pounds.   I was ready to take my body to the next level and started to think about training for a figure competition.  I asked a lady at the gym how I could get involved.  She told me 90% of what a person looks like is what they eat.  These words were life-changing for me.  They forced me to analyze my eating habits.  I decided a competition was not for me because I was not willing to do what it would take to get my physique stage ready.  Two weeks later, I decided I was going to train.  Training involved a super strict eating regimen and a strenuous exercise schedule.  Throughout the process, I was able to lose 25 more pounds.  I weighed 145 and was a size 6 when I competed for the first time in May 2008.  I competed again in May 2009 and my weight was 140 pounds and was a size 4.  I competed for a third time in May 2010 and with the help of a trainer my weight was 119 pounds and a size 2.  My body was ripped and shredded to the bone.  I was so excited because I had never seen my body look the way it had after 12 weeks of training. 

I had so many people ask me, “Why do you want to do something like a figure competition?”  This was a hard question for me because I really didn’t know. I would always tell them that I loved the physical and mental challenge that it brought about.  I now look back and know exactly why “I” was doing it. I mainly wanted to compete because I was so proud of my weight loss accomplishments. I also wanted to compete because I needed a goal to force me into taking my physique “to the wall”. 

The funny thing is, I had my reasons, but God had His reasons as well. The wisdom and knowledge that I gained through the trials and tribulations I endured during my weight loss journey and competition training was phenomenal. The whole process enabled me to help others start their own weight loss journey. It is amazing the amount of patience that I have for people when they come to me daily and tell me they fell short of their goal and how they want to quit. I have the patience because God was equipping me when He allowed me to go through my own battles. I understand what people are going through. I accept the call of helping others who want to get their temple in order. It makes me happy when I see others achieving their healthy lifestyle goals great or small. Through my whole weight loss journey, I meditated on one particular scripture, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).

It is still a challenge to maintain my weight loss. My belief is the Lord will allow it to continue to be a challenge so that I never forget where I came from. I now own a fitness studio “Studio G, The Room Where Change Happens”. The G stand for God. At Studio G, the belief is although you may come one way, you won’t leave the same way. Sometimes it’s an instant mindset change and sometimes it takes a while.  To be honest I don’t care how long it takes for your change to come. I will be there! The Lord placed his hand on Studio G from the beginning. It is amazing to assist and witness first-hand the many lives that are transformed physically, mentally and spiritually.  I absolutely love helping clients through prayer, fitness, personal training, and nutritional coaching.  I have a true passion for people and their body transformation goals.  I feel extremely blessed because my job, my passion, my calling, and my anointing are all the same thing.  For that I thank God!

  How long have you been helping others get on that same track? 

I have been in the health and wellness arena for a very long time.  I can remember back in high-school and college.  I was always getting a fitness group together or some type of challenge or something related to getting people “moving”.  Studio G has been in business 5 1/2 years.  If I had to put a number to it, I would have to say I’ve been helping people get on track for 26 years. 

  1. Is it difficult being a business owner?  

As a business owner in the fitness industry, I have learned that people get bored. Studio G must always stay on the cutting edge.  We are always designing a new program, implementing a new program or just completed a new program.  It’s continuously evolving which can be tiring at times; however, I love what I do so that keeps me going full throttle. 

How has the journey been for you?

This journey has been a bit of a whirlwind.  It has not been easy, but it has been a true blessing to see so many lives changed for the better.  Studio G was born overnight.  Kevin and I had no business plan; however, we had a dream of what we WANTED it to be and we knew what it WOULD be.  We did not have a lot of money; however, we had a ton of faith. We did not have a lot of help; however, we had one another. Our teamwork made our dream WORK! 

  1. What are some ways you make working out fun? 

At Studio G, we always encourage camaraderie among everyone that comes in the door.  Not everyone has a workout buddy, so with that said, we encourage love and friendship.  We want the new people as well as those that have been away for a while to always feel welcome.   

We also try to find things that make an ordinary fitness class fun; such as fitness glow parties, fitness feast (where all the studio G instructors come together and teach an 1 1/2 hour class) and themed fitness classes; such as dress up for Halloween and do Zumba. 

  1. What advice do you have for those wanting to live a healthier life and working out more?

When you make the decision to live a healthy lifestyle, there is no need to wait till Monday to start.  You can start eating healthy/begin a fitness regimen any day of the week!