Ever since I began competing in bodybuilding contests in 2009, countless doors of opportunity have opened for me, and I have walked across many thresholds since then. The opportunities set before me enabled me to accept more fully my role as an educator and motivator when I work as a physician and fitness professional. What I never factored in when I began this amazing journey was how many people I would inspire along the way, not only through my motivating words, but also through leading by example. This is why I tell people that as you go through your life, remember that you never know whom you are inspiring, especially if you are in the public eye. Every step, every decision, every failure, and every victory you make in your chosen industry is observed, even if you are a private person like I am. I truly had NO IDEA that with every contest I did in the NPC, I was impacting those who were watching me. I have come to realize more recently how much I can empower others when I strut my stuff onstage despite often being the oldest competitor up there, even in the Masters Pro lineup.
I am a go-getter, stubborn and set on finishing whatever I start. That is how I overcame anorexia at the age of 19, became a fitness professional in my 20’s, became a physician in my 30’s, and carved out a unique niche for myself in the world of medicine and wellness. Perhaps I haven’t given myself enough credit for all that I have done. When I think about all the things I have accomplished, it makes perfect sense that I have the power to transform people’s lives and inspire them. Yet when I hear people say that I am their hero, it always surprises me, and I am always so honored to be regarded in that way. Inside I am saying, “Really? Little old me?”, despite the fact that more people than ever before are sharing this information with me. I don’t take the idea of being a role model or hero lightly at all. It’s a tremendous blessing to have any positive impact on another human being’s life.
One of the coolest aspects of finding out that I have inspired clients, patients, fans and friends, is that these people become heroes themselves when they go through lifestyle overhauls. Every time I hear the excitement in a client’s voice as she becomes stronger, fitter and more confident, or I look at before and after pictures of a client transformation, I am overcome with pride. These people become MY heroes.