When I was born, my hip was turned inwards and I was pigeon toed.
The doctors gave my Mom two choices. Surgery or dance – naturally she enrolled me into classes. The alternative was to remove a chip of bone from my hip and hope it turned in. Until I was 18, I danced several times a week and my issues resolved themselves. I took my Aerobics Instructor certification, taught step classes (it was the 90’s!), line dancing, children’s jazz & ballet and performed in a traditional folk dancing group.
Fast forward to a 15 year career as an illustrator and graphic designer, which led to many hours hunched over a table, pen in hand.
I went back to Pilates to regain my former strength and flexibility. A dislocated knee ramped up my interest, and I enrolled in the Body Harmonics Mat certification course and started teaching. After that came the Stott Reformer course, and finally, the Stott Full Certification program. Exams coming up shortly.
The Plant Based Nutrition program at Cornell was a logical and complimentary add-on, and certainly changed a lot of the habits I had formed.
Next up was one of the most transformative and important choices in my life: I went to Bali to complete (a fairly rigorous!) Yoga teacher training certification. Many lessons learned there, not just physical, have soaked into my life, my teaching, and my perspectives.
When I started teaching Pilates in Toronto a couple years ago, I noticed I kept repeating something over and over – clients come into the studio and when asked about their goals, saying things like “I really want to flatten out my stomach!” “My thighs are so squishy!” “I just want to get rid of this baby weight!”. Often, I reply “But you look great!”. And they do – I’m not just trying to placate them. We’re so very very hard on ourselves, setting unrealistic goals and expectations on lives that are already busy and overwhelming. We’re all works in progress, that will probably never end. And it’s a great thing – constant growth and betterment of yourself will make you happier, healthier and a better presence in the life of the people around you. I tell my students that they are already leaps ahead just for showing up at class. That part is hard enough! But no matter how many times someone else tells you that you look good, it’s really how you feel about yourself that matters.
Health isn’t just your workout routine. It’s a holistic relationship with everything around you – what you eat, drink, wear, where you live, work and relax. For 7 years, I worked for a clothing company. My job was part product development, part illustration, part design, part of a little bit of everything when you work for a smaller company. One of those parts also happened to be production trips overseas. Up close and personal with the people and factories that make the products we use every day. During my time there, I saw great factories, and I saw terrible factories. There were places that we walked into, and then walked directly out of due to the conditions. But there were also places that were clean, airy, nice spaces and you could tell the staff were in a good situation, making good products in a well-maintained place. Because a large part of what that company makes is for children, I saw a lot of safety reports cross my desk. What you wear ends up on, and in, your skin. Sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes it’s a bad thing. But it’s important to know what you’re dealing with, and what the alternatives are.
So while there will be lots on here about health (physical and emotional), there will also be recipes, product reviews, projects to help save you time and or money, trip advice, and so on. A curated overview of things that I have found help me, and those around me, live better lives. I’m filling it up with ways that you can make yourself look and feel great, starting from the inside out.
I’d also love it to be a community – so if you have any advice, comments, suggestions, questions – please send it along!
We’re all in in it together.