Lifting Weights Saved my Life: My Journey of Strength from Ballet to Barbells

young ballerina on pointe

From ballet

 205lb deadlift at powerlifting meet--failed attempt

to barbells. Pretty much the same thing right?

Lifting weights, proper movement, and good nutrition got me from this

woman backpacking

Summer 2000. At my heaviest–about 150lbs

to this

15%-18% bodyfat from lifting weights

Summer 2014 about 125lbs and 15-18% bodyfat

You can do it too.

Even if:

  • You’re a mom with small children climbing all over you.
  • You have very limited time.
  • You’re not happy with how you look even if you’re thin.
  • You feel tired, run down, and discouraged.

You can:

  • Get lean and build some muscle definition.
  • Significantly reduce, or even eliminate pain.
  • Be confident in your own skin.
  • Feel hot and sexy.
  • Feel energized and vibrant.

No, you will never be “perfect” –but perfect is creepy! And part of this whole journey is about learning to love yourself, flaws and all. Tweet This!

If you want to get started right away, contact me.

Wanna know how I know you can do it too?

Here’s my story…

I always wanted to be a ballerina. I came out of the womb busting a move. Dance, and expression through movement is in my soul. I danced (and still do) like a crazy girl to any music with a groove.

I ended up going to college for my B.A. in dance. Then, I dropped out half way through, because my self-worth was totally dependent on what the profs thought of my dancing ability.

My nutrition during high school and college was very low-fat, at times vegetarian, with loads of carbs and sugar. Plus, I was constantly on anti-biotics for acne. Recipe for nutrition disaster right there.

At my heaviest(see backpacking photo above), I was 21, and on a boatload of anti-depressants and other meds. I believe that the meds contributed to my weight gain. I was very unhappy but striving to look happy. I was shoveling down lots of food to comfort myself and was seriously lacking exercise.

I had just dropped out of college, my foundation had dropped out from under me,  and my whole worldview was changing.

I had attempted fucking suicide a couple months before this photo was taken. Despite what the photo shows, this is one unhappy woman.

A few years later, as I pulled out of the pit, I started doing some serious astanga yoga and belly dancing. I stopped smoking, and changed my nutrition–oh and got off the meds. I firmly believe that movement and good nutrition have kept me alive.

The yoga got me this.

yoga body

2007 after 4 years of serious yoga

yoga scorpion posealong with a hamstring tear, chronic low back and neck pain from over flexibility without the strength to balance it.

Then, I finished my degree, got married, and PREGNANCY happened.

35 weeks pregnant

35 weeks pregnant

(insert evil laugh here) and YOU thought YOU were in control of your body??!!

4 months post partum mother and baby girl

4 months post partum

Then, I started running because I wanted to escape the realities of my life as a mother. I lost some weight, but still didn’t get the physique I was after. Plus, I kinda hated running.

Then I picked up the kettlebells, started weight training and put myself in a calorie deficit. That got me this.

kettlebell bikini body

Early 2011 3 years post partum

Then, because I liked being pregnant so much, I did it again! Except this time, I continued lifting weights with kettlebells.

Lifting weights during pregnancy. 6 months pregnant

Push press with the 44lb kettlebell at 6 months pregnant

Then I came back after my second pregnancy with kettlebells, free weights, and barbells. Which got me from this

6 months post partum with baby wrap

Early 2013, 6 months post partum

to this

body transformation after lifting weights, kettlebells, body weight training

about 2 years after baby #2

Most recently, I’ve been doing a lot of body weight training. Mixing in some kettlebell strength and conditioning. And by the way–my injured hamstring, and lower back?– Don’t give me problems anymore. My hips and glutes are stronger now so my low back isn’t taking the heat.  My neck/shoulder sometimes flares up, but I know what to do to help it.

OK. So this is my (highly abbreviated) story. Perfectly imperfect. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I am coming to love and accept myself as is–the muscles, the pudgy belly, the strength, the saggy boobs, the handstands that I can do,the 8 pull ups, the 205lb deadlift, my extreme tendency toward negativity, my hyper-critical, judgmental attitude, my deep well of desire, sensuality, and my fire and lust for life. All of it. It’s all me.  A beautiful, imperfect work in progress.

As are you.

I share my story to show you that you can do it too.

I’ve been down in the deep, dark pit of despair. I’ve had the extra weight that I didn’t know how to get off. But, I did the research about how to get out of the Pit. I did the research about how to get lean and strong.

And let me tell you, the two are connected. Body and Soul. Soma and Psyche. Physical and Mental. Inescapably connected. Movement is the Key to the Universe. This is a fundamental belief of mine. (you can call me crazy–it’s been done before) Famous modern dancer, Martha Graham said, “Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it.”

I want to help inspire, motivate, and educate you to make sustainable and simple lifestyle changes. I want you to find the joy that is moving your body, experience the joy that is Being in your skin. Tweet This!

It’s NOT easy and you have to want it like a mofo, but it is totally doable.

If you want to talk with someone who has found methods that work, then,

  1. Together we’ll discover your goals–your “Why?”
  2. Together we’ll make a plan.
  3. Together we’ll write that shit down.
  4. You will do a little bit every day toward you goal with me cheering you on and giving you guidance.

That’s all we really need–someone to come alongside us and believe in us, tell us we can do it, give us some no bullshit feedback.

So that’s what I’m here for, to be your no BSing friend and guide. Contact me.




One thought on “Lifting Weights Saved my Life: My Journey of Strength from Ballet to Barbells

  1. Joy- your last two posts (this one, and the suicide attempt post) are amazing. YOU are a goddess, and I’m so glad your sister hauled your butt to the ER! You’re an inspirational badass :) xoxo

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