True strength cannot be seen on the surface. It’s something developed deep within. It is cultivated from myriads of failed attempts sprinkled with victorious moments. Strength is more than muscles and physical appearance. Strength is your testament of survival.”Isaure Elizabeth
Ever since the age of 7, I’ve been involved in various sports; however, I found myself most dominant in track and field. Although I did not pursue sports in college, I maintained an extremely active lifestyle and could always be found running around campus or in the gym throwing around the weights like the best of them.
One day, after being rushed off to the hospital due to a bad case of rhabdomyolysis (a disorder caused by “traumatic injury to the body” which, in my case, was over exertion in the weight room coupled with a lack of water and proper food consumption- Without my knowledge, my muscle tissue had broken down and gotten into my blood stream causing kidney failure.) I noticed that I was twitching often and losing control of my movements. In January of 2007, I was diagnosed with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. I went from the “fit chick” to the “sick chick” in a blink of an eye.
As years went on, I struggled with bouts of severe depression, masqueraded by a thriving social life and hectic work schedule, when suddenly it dawned on me, I can’t live this way anymore. I was having seizures on a regular bases without any obvious triggers. I had lost all control of my life- both physically and mentally. So, December 2012, I made the decision to quit my job in Chicago, IL and move home to Houston, TX and focus on regaining not only my health, but my sense of self and well-being.
After participating in a study conducted by Mark Harris on the effects of Ketogenic Diets, Exercise, and Fatloss, I noticed my seizures slowly start to decimate. It was around this time that I also reignited my passion for fitness. I began to train for my very first bodybuilding show (within the bikini division) and stepped on stage November 2014. Exactly one year later, I won my first show. On September 3, 2016, I received my Pro Card at the Poseidon Classic.
During this time, I focused on truly learning about dieting and how the body uses and reacts to the foods that we consume. I began working with a nutritionist and doing a plethora of investigative work on my own while also working as a volunteer for The Epilepsy Foundation in their Get Fit program – where I later was hired as a trainer. I also completed graduate school at Rice University and received my personal training certification as well. In addition, I began participating on triathlons as well.
On May 21, 2016, I completed my masters program by presenting my capstone entitled, “Scared Stiff: Epilepsy and the Effects of Ketogenic Diets and Exercise” which created an in depth picture of my personal struggle with epilepsy and how proper nutrition and increased exercise has taken me from consuming 14 pills a day to ZERO (except for emergency situations).
So, to bring this long winded story to an end, MY PASSION FOR FITNESS AND NUTRITION STEMS FROM MY CONSTANT DESIRE TO THRIVE, NOT MERELY TO SURVIVE! I urge everyone to live a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE and live their lives to the absolute fullest.
- High School: The Kinkaid School, Class of 2006
- Undergraduate School: Purdue University, Class of 2009- BA: Public Relations and Rhetorical Advocacy, Minors: Spanish, Art & Design
- Graduate School: Rice University, Class of 2016 – MLS: Master of Liberal Studies
- ACE Certified Personal Trainer
- USAS Adult Learn to Swim Certified Instructor
- 11 years of track and field experience
- Group and Personal Trainer for The Epilepsy Foundation
- NFF Professional Bikini Competitor
- Nationally Qualified NPC Bikini Competitor
- Triathlete: IRONMAN 70.3, IRONMAN 140.6