Fitness was not always an integral part of my daily routine.

As a child growing up in Reading, PA with a protective Sicilian mother, I usually was not allowed outside of the house to play. Instead, I spent my childhood playing video games, trading Pokémon/Yu-Gi-Oh cards, or winning wars with my action figures. Of course, my parents tried to keep me active by taking me bike riding, skiing, and signing me up for sports, but it was difficult to maintain my health, especially coming from a Sicilian family who loved to eat. Luckily in ninth grade, I found strength training when I joined Governor Mifflin High School’s football, lacrosse, and wrestling teams. Go Mustangs!

Even with my poor eating habits, my activity levels kept my weight down and sometimes I even lost weight! However, from personal experience, I learned that our fitness journeys are ever changing and evolving. Fast forward to college where I stopped playing sports. I began drinking frequently with friends, eating whatever and whenever I wanted, and had little to no activity to compensate for this newly developed lifestyle I was living. Then something happened…

One morning, I woke up and went to the gym with some friends. Before I began my workout, I stepped on the scale and it read…299.9lbs. I never imagined myself growing up to be almost 300lbs, have high blood pressure, and on track for other diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, etc. I asked myself, “How did this happen? How did I let this happen?” I became depressed, anxious, lazy and unmotivated. And to top it off, my confidence was at an all time low. I knew I had to make significant changes to my current lifestyle in order to change my future for the better. Finally, I told myself, “NO MORE.”

Through my own research and the help of my friends, I changed my eating habits and training. Also, I made sure I did more activities with friends to keep me accountable, while still having a good time! I started to feel stronger, more confident, and I gained a more positive outlook on life and my situation. Finally, I was getting back to being me.

Today, I’ve shed over 70lbs and am off all prescription medications! However, my journey is far from over. I am working on myself each and every day.

I want others to feel empowered, just like how I felt the day I said, “NO MORE.” That is my goal for you.

Anything is possible when you have determination and support. I, and everyone here at Ampersand Integrative Wellness, invite you in with open arms. We are here to support you, encourage you, empower you, and most importantly, grow with you.

Let’s become the strongest versions of ourselves

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