Even after having a transformational health experience (I’ve lost 105 pounds and kept it off for 14 years), I still experience ups and downs. There are months of my life where I’m really dialed in to my health and inspired by fitness - and then there are times where the daily grind completely takes me out.
So I asked some super-inspiring peers to share their powerful stories. I’ve found that the most consistent way to get inspired about health is to submerge myself in the powerful journeys of others.
“I have two choices. Give in to this hardship or stand up and fight.”
When you’re a best-selling author and your upcoming book is called “Namaslay”, you know you’re making a difference. But before that could happen, Candace Moore first had to overcome huge health challenges.
I could attempt to document Moore’s health journey in diagnosing Lyme disease, but anything I wrote would suck compared to her site. (No, really - stop reading this article and just read that blog instead.)
Moore’s time log of diagnosing the undiagnosable communicates the fear and turmoil of not knowing what’s happening to your body - especially when you later discover that your disease has SEEPED INTO YOUR BRAIN.
She’s now an international yoga instructor and blogging machine, crushing it on every social media platform you can think of (Most notably on YouTube, where she has 160,000 subscribers).
I don’t even fucking LIKE Pinterest and I want everything pictured on her channel:
Can I just say it’s so refreshing to see yoga- and health-related content is actually on point and useful? There’s no “yoga-lebrity” fluff here, Moore is the real deal.
Oh, and order her new book too - you can scoop it up here.
YouTube: “Yoga By Candace”
Facebook: “Yoga By Candace”
Pinterest: “Yoga By Candace”
“I was in my twenties and taking eight prescriptions a day - something had to change.”
An NYC Food Coach & Pilates instructor emphasizing mindfulness and livable, sustainable, behavior change, Domke’s mindset is that “No foods are off limits, no rules are rigid, and a constant mindset of experimentation is essential.”
This is the complete opposite of her former life as a Wall Street management consultant. (Translation: Stress.) Domke also describes herself at the time as “an overtired, overmedicated, puffy, anxious, unstable, scared, well-educated, high functioning wreck.” Her weight fluctuation would sometimes reach 50 pounds in short periods of time.
“I always overloaded myself with obligations and challenges and underneath it all I felt like I was about to crumble at any moment,” she says. (My stomach churns slightly as I type that oh-so-truthful statement.)
“Working in management consulting, I found myself eating bagels daily for breakfast & lunch and loading up on absurd amounts of sugar and carbs. I'd drink moderately to excessively whenever alcohol was free. I was working a management consulting gig and finished work by 7, but wound up on phone calls or doing 'urgent' client work till 2am many nights. I could pull myself together (with the help of doctors, meds, psychiatrists, and determination). I was disgusted with my body and my self-esteem was basically in the gutter - usually along with my mood.”
Nothing you eat shocks Domke. “I have had so many crazy eating binges (and purges) that nothing deters me - a whole family size jar of jam in one sitting? Yup - did it. A giant Costco-size box of Frosted Mini-Wheats? I'd easily down that in two days.”
Her transformation came in stages, first with dabbling in Pilates instruction on the side. It would take a drastic life decision to pursue fitness full-time, and eventually she leapt - and moved to Hong Kong.
“I decided to focus my work in line with my values and abandon what I thought I "should" be doing (based on having degrees in Business and Engineering).”
“My clients motivate me tremendously. Seeing their efforts and massive changes (A recent client’s body transformation got him a standing ovation at a family gathering and helped him kick 3 medications) makes me want to show up with more energy, better my listening skills, and keep learning tiny new things every day that will make a difference.”
“People depend on me to set the example and to guide them on their own fitness journeys.”
Growing up in San Antonio, Wesley was an overweight, undermotivated teenager leading a sedentary lifestyle.
“When I decided to take control of my life, I did not understand how to lose weight in a safe and healthy way, and my lack of knowledge led to health issues.”
“At that point that I decided to educate myself on what it takes to lead a healthy lifestyle. I began working out, eating well, and eventually becoming a fitness instructor with a passion for helping other people lead their best lives.”
Salazar credits his reinvention to the months before college.
“I saw going away to college as a second chance. I could come out of the closet, lose weight and basically reinvent myself and live the life I wanted to live. The kid who couldn’t run one lap without stopping was suddenly able to run around the block!” A recent feature in Out in SA feels full-circle.
He then went on to lose 60 pounds over the next four months. The rapid transformation actually left him underweight and hypoglycemic. It wasn’t until a stranger at the gym told him he was too skinny that he considered himself still not healthy.
“Now I strength train 3-4 times per week, and enjoy pushing my own limits in the gym. I’m an avid runner and outdoor cyclist who participates in half marathons, and the MS 150 bike ride. I have ridden in the MS 150 for 7 years with various teams, and this past spring I realized my dream of forming my own MS 150 team—Team BodyArchitecture. “
Salazar juggles his full time job in landscape architecture with side hustles as a trainer and cycling instructor.
“It isn’t easy and sometimes I have to remind myself that taking those rest and recovery days is just as important to my overall health as my workouts.”