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About Me

From There to Here ~ The Tale of Terra

Weight is a challenge that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. I was a fad dieter from the age of at least ten. My weight hit an all time high AFTER my second son was born (how could that be???). The more I gained, the more I worried I became and the more I ate. It was a vicious cycle that I knew I had to find a way to stop. What I really wanted was a magic pill that would take the weight off while I slept. Why can’t that be invented??? Anyway, I knew that didn’t exist and fly-by-night diets had greatly attributed to my situation in the first place. It was time to do something permanent and real life.

NOW

I started this website in 2008. A lot has changed in that time, but a lot has also remained the same. Wellness is my passion. Living my best life and helping others to live their’s is my calling. If we are just meeting, you can scroll down to the “THEN” portion and get the skinny on my background. It’s goes way back!! For those of you I know, this is an update of where I’m at now☀️🌴😎 To quote my husband’s mantra, the journey truly is the reward and I’m so grateful for all the connections I’m making along the way!

Our annual family vacation to Hilton Head, SC the week before the move to Fresno, California

In April 2018, very unexpectedly my hubby, Darin❤️, was offered an amazing job opportunity. I was (and am) over-the-top happy for this awesome career move for him. The only catch was he/we had to move to across the country. The job is in California and he needed to live there and right away. Hmmmmm….minor detail, right?? At that time, Chase, my youngest son, was at the end of his junior year of high school, I was knee deep in my full time real estate business along with leading WW workshops and was living in the same house in Elburn we had been, pretty much since the kids were born….a mere 22 years. “Show me how this going to work for the good of ALL of us” was my daily repetitive prayer.

Chase, my “Baby”, graduated from Kaneland High School In May 2019

Needless to say, a lot would have to change and because of that, we decided I would stay in Illinois with Chase and prayerfully see how things unfolded while we moved Darin to Fresno, California. This was May 2018. As you can guess from my current situation, Darin fell in love with central California and the job turned out to be all he expected and more. In May 2019, Chase graduated high school and chose to attend Arizona State (Downtown Phoenix campus) to study Sports Broadcasting. Cole, my oldest son, was interning in Phoenix and was offered an amazing full time position (in Phoenix) upon graduation from Colorado State in December of this year (2019). The logistics of all this are so over the top that I often have refrained from going into all of it when asked!! It sounds so ridiculous!! But, I would be remiss to not explain it now because the way it has all unfolded has been such a beautiful demonstration of Divine intervention. I’m so very grateful for the prayerful guidance I’ve received each step of the way.

The day I left Chase at ASU & became an “empty nester”. The smile is deceiving…I cried my eyes out !just

With both boys being in Phoenix and Darin only a days drive from them, my decision to sell our home in Elburn, leave my real estate career in Illinois and move to Fresno, California became significantly easier. To make it even more appealing for me to go, WW (Weight Watchers) made it possible for me to transfer! To not only be able to continue as a Wellness Coach and lead WW workshops in California, but to also have more time to dedicate to it was/is a dream come true!!

After recovering from the tears of saying goodbye to Illinois, we have recovered nicely!

So here I am! We moved Darin out of his two bedroom bachelor pad apartment (haha!) in April 2019 and into a house we both love with a pool (which was the clincher for me!). I sold our Elburn house in July 2019 and at the end of August, after getting Chase situated at Arizona State and Cole back to Colorado State for his final semester, Oakley and Ivy (our two dogs🐶❤️🐶❤️) and I moved to Fresno with Darin!!

We live about 2 hours from the central coast. This pic was taken in LaJolla, about 4 hours away😍

Oakley and Ivy, our Petite Golden Doodles, seem to have adjusted to California life quite well too!

I’m leading 5 different WW workshops in Fresno and Madera. There were a lot of tears and sadness saying my goodbyes, but now that I’m here, I realize the world is small and I can stay connected thanks to all the amazing technology!! Getting to dedicate my time to being a Wellness Coach and writer makes me extremely happy❤️

Cheers to a new chapter and to more time to focus on wellness for my self and helping others!

The view of the sunset from our new neighborhood. I can’t get enough of the palm trees🌴☀️❤️

THEN

Me “before” with my oldest son, Cole, who’s now in his 20’s😊

In January 2001, I walked into a Weight Watcher meeting (for the umpteenth time in my dieting life!) and prayed that this time I would finally “get it” and that it would work for me. I quickly realized my prayers were being answered when I met the perfect Weight Watcher Leader for me and made a connection.  She was upbeat, energetic, funny and, most importantly, she was real and I related to her. It made all the difference in the world to my success! She inspired me and I liked being a part of her successful meetings. I liked being surrounded by others who were attaining the success I was looking for and who were not only willing, but excited about sharing their tricks to success!! I felt a connection, an energy, and my attitude about the weight loss process started to change. Losing weight started to become fun, because I was doing it in a way that was realistic for my lifestyle. I was focused on ENJOYING the process in each present moment, rather than waiting endlessly to achieve a final goal weight to bring me happiness. I enjoyed my meetings and the relationships I was establishing there. I was still able to eat chocolate, drink red wine and go out to dinner!

Of course the quantities were adjusted, but it was worth it! No more “all or nothing” living. I knew this was it…I felt successful from the very beginning because I was living a realistic, healthy lifestyle each day, that had the balance I had never really experienced. I was not depriving or starving myself and I started to feel alive and in control rather than out of control and embarrassed. I committed to myself that when I achieved my ultimate weight goal, I would do everything in my power to inspire others to lose weight and feel the empowering sense of self that I was blessed enough to be experiencing. Becoming a Weight Watcher Leader myself seemed to be the best way to go about this commitment. So, after losing 75 pounds, I did just that and have been a Weight Watcher Leader ever since.

Come Visit One of the WW Meetings I lead!
Runner Girls, Warm and Sunny Mornings….

My life has changed dramatically since losing 75 pounds in 2001 and it could not be better. After losing the weight, I had the confidence to start jogging with some other moms in my neighborhood. I thought running would be a good way to help maintain my new weight and I thought maybe I could even enter some kind of race to give myself a goal. Until that point, walking had been my primary form of exercise, so I gave running a try. In October 2004, I ran the Chicago marathon for the very first time and finished in 4 hours! To me, it felt like a miracle! Since then, I have run a total of four marathons (26.2 miles) and countless half marathons (13.1 miles) and I love it. Wait, wait, wait…that is not all together true…I don’t think it’s the running I actually “love” as much as the camaraderie I have developed with the kind, funny, beautiful women I run with every morning. They motivate me to get up before the sun rises (even when I am tired and it’s COLD out!) to do something just for me. They make me want to be a better person and I love them for it. When we share our energy with others, we gain it back exponentially.

….As Well As Cold And Dark Mornings!
Stone Tower Properties, 325 South St, Geneva, IL

Losing the weight also gave me the confidence and energy to get back into the workforce. I have a degree in Public Relations from Illinois State University and a successful corporate sales background, but this time wanted to do something that allowed me more flexibility to be near home for my children, continue my healthy lifestyle and lead my Weight Watcher meetings. I wanted something that I could excel in on MY terms. I chose real estate sales and went to work for Stone Tower Properties as a Realtor in 2003 because I loved the idea of “boutique-style real estate”. By 2006, my business partner, Teresa Keenan and I purchased the company and ran it ourselves. I was a great experience but my plate just became too full, so in 2009, I sold my half to Teresa and went back to selling homes full time. This allows me to work full time and still lead my Weight Watchers meetings, which is so important to me. Teresa is not only one of my best friends, she’s does an incredible job of running the brokerage. The firm is all about personalizing, not franchising, real estate sales and I love that! Stone Tower Properties is located at 325 South Street in downtown Geneva, Illinois (www.stonetowerproperties.com) and is the most quaint, charming “office” you have ever stepped foot in! STP has about fourteen agents and continues to grow more rapidly than we ever anticipated! I am proud to be a part of the reputation Stone Tower Properties has for integrity and professionalism in Fox Valley real estate.

I am thankful everyday for the renewed energy and confidence that living a healthy lifestyle has given m e so that I can provide for my family! My life would be very different today if I had not started my journey of self discovery on that cold January night in 2001 at Weight Watchers. I am grateful that I met the right people at the right time in my life who helped me lose 75 pounds and put me on the road to finding myself again. It is an on going journey that never ends and if I have learned anything, it is that the goal is to enjoy the ride rather than impatiently wait for the destination. I treasure every opportunity I get to touch other people’s lives at a time when I can be of help to them. I know better than anyone how weight issues can sabotage one’s self-esteem and make us feel paralyzed, defeated, weak and embarrassed. I feel privileged to share in the successes of others and I feel like I am finally the role model for my children that I always wanted to be.

Darin, Cole, Chase & I, Summer 2010
My Family-Summer 2011
2016 Annual "Turkey Bowl" Thanksgiving Family Football Game
Oakley & Ivy❤❤🐶🐶
Ivy, our youngest Petite Golden Doodle
Oakley, our older Petite Golden Doodle