Welcome to this installment of The Wellness Universe’s ‘A Conversation With …’ interview series! We will feature interviews from some of our amazing WU World Changers so you can learn about who they are as a person, their profession, mission, and their why!’
Welcome to A Conversation with Lisa Charles –
The Founder of Embrace Your Fitness
The Wellness Universe directory is a resource and community filled with Change-Makers; we call WU World-Changers (Wellness Universe World-Changers). Today we want to introduce you to Lisa Charles.
Her mission is to design and create implement innovative, motivating, and self-sustaining wellness programming that is personalized to meet the needs of individuals, companies, and organizations. The focus is fitness inside-and-out and fitness made fun!
Hello Lisa, will you please tell us about yourself?
First of all, hello, I am so excited to be a part of this interview. This is a unique time in our history of the world, as we really deal with health and wellness issues on a whole other level. So, I will introduce myself in light of that. I am the CEO of Embrace Your Fitness. If you were looking to find me on the web, it is a health and wellness consultancy, really dedicated to helping individuals discover true brain and body connectivity, and to experience health from the inside out. I\’m also the health coach, trainer, and in-program designer. I have spent a lot of my time really sharing my information by way of being a speaker on health and wellness issues.
Lisa, what is it that inspires you?
So, I am absolutely inspired beyond belief by the prospect of helping people. I say that we help people to experience the best of what they can from the inside out, so we really look at health on a much deeper level. I think when people really start to really take into consideration that health is not just what we eat or how we move our body, but it\’s also an inner relationship with ourselves. Understanding all of that and then understanding how everything must work as one, we move people to that. It\’s amazing because you start to see that they get to move towards and really explore all that is possible in, you know, their orbit?
Will you please tell us what you call yourself and explain what it is that you do?
Yeah, so what\’s so cool about having the kind of business idea is that I do a variety of things, and I\’ll bring in different people. As a matter of fact, I have a very charming intern that\’s working with me right now. My job can also involve speaking. I\’m doing a big workshop this coming weekend, a national woman\’s workshop, dealing with university women teachers. Women of all ages; I think the youngest women are in their twenties all the way up to their eighties. And we\’re talking about health issues, just as I laid out before. I also run and I serve my business as the research. I am the fitness and wellness director for the Aging Brain Health Alliance from Rutgers University. I also design fitness programs.
I do a lot of things with Beth Israel hospital, our RWJ, Beth Israel hospital. I was also with Saint Barnabas over the years. So, it could be creative programming like that. In addition to that, I still hold onto speaking, personal training, and health coaching. From there, I\’ll train and coach couples or whole organizations to a better sense of health.
How exactly does that help someone?
I was what I call an expert yoyo dieter, and I had been on almost every single diet that you could ever have mentioned. In the process, I packed on about 77 extra pounds and it was just really hard. I did not know how to lose it. I had been a practicing prosecutor, but I left that to pursue singing and acting. I lost my singing voice and then I got sick and I was in the hospital. I found out that I was really so much heavier than I even knew because I hadn\’t weighed myself in years. I couldn\’t say I wasn\’t going to go back to the practice of law, and I really had to take a moment just to really explore myself.
That is when I started developing an entire system that helped me to lose over 77 pounds and keep it off for over 10 years, which is really amazing. It led me to come into a place that if I could do it for myself and I could demystify the process, I could also challenge those things that are out there. They\’re absolutely false and I wanted to be a part of really bringing a new light to this whole area of how we stay fit. And so, that was the impetus for my business. It just took off from there. From teaching different classes to actually putting together programs to help people really achieve their goals.
Why are you so passionate about helping others live a healthy life?
I am passionate because I believe that it is the purpose that\’s been put in my life. I cannot put into words what it means to me when I see someone really making the adjustments in their life and start to live in a healthier way. I think what this whole process is, is a life-saving process. It\’s creating that sort of healthy mind, body, and spirit.
How long have you been doing what you\’re doing?
So, it\’s been over 10 years. But the couple of years that I really spent just losing weight for myself are when I really developed this whole concept of a different approach, a different way of transforming the body. What\’s interesting now is I\’m actually writing a book, called Yes. It really is about my Yes Body Method and how it can transform all the things that you may have said “No” to, that really may have been kind of good for you, into “Yes\’s” by making certain basic steps. And so, it\’s really kind of interesting to see that come to light over the years just based on actual things that I\’ve done, but now, it’s to the point I am able to share it on an even grander scale, and that\’s exciting for me.
Will you share a story of how you have made a difference in someone’s life?
I think the biggest difference is that they see themselves in a different way and they see their relationship with the world in a different way. For instance, one of the things that I always start off with, with anybody that I come to, is that I really start with the premise of how do you see yourself? Like who are you? We\’ll have fun exercises where you have to describe yourself with the most positive adjectives, and you’ll have that to hold onto over time. I have different exercises where people cannot say anything negative about themselves whatsoever, not about their body, not about prior failures, etc. You can live in positivity. It\’s amazing when you get people to really flip and stay in that world. They can look back at things that they did in the past and just see that it really wasn\’t serving them or wasn\’t rewarding them in any way. I see some of my clients years later and they\’re doing amazing things, and I\’m like, Wow! Then I think back on where they were. It’s lovely to see people from one point and then see them reach this other level for themselves.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I have some things coming up which I\’m really very excited about, and a couple of other things that are in the works. Of course, as I mentioned, I\’m writing a book which is going to come out in the spring, and I\’m working with a publisher. That\’s really a whole different experience. To the other writers out there that work with their publisher, I’m sure you know what I mean. There are tight deadlines and whatnot, which are a nice, new challenge.
I\’m going to be creating a program for a television show and the television station called Jam Network TV. We\’re actually going to be doing some filming next week. We\’ll see how it takes off and where it goes, but it’s super exciting.
I look forward to my continued work with RWJ and the projects that are always on the horizon. So, I\’m giving this shout out to the hospital that has really been with me over a long period of this journey, and I\’m looking forward to that continual relationship as well.
Thank you so much for sharing today, Lisa! Do you have any final thoughts?
Yeah, I think I really want to leave people with the thought that it doesn\’t matter where you are right now; you know, fill in the blank. you are feeling a certain way. It’s not reflective of where you\’ve been before or where you would like to be. It doesn\’t matter where you are. It is always possible to take the next step and to do something that\’s going to elevate your body, your mind, and your spirit. It just takes you making the commitment to make that first step forward. I’d like to leave you with hope. It\’s there for all of us. You just have to step into it.
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