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For the last decade I have dedicated myself as a Health and Life Coach to helping people get fit  – both in body and mind.

I am an evangelist for balanced living. This is something that I still work on for myself every single day. We live in such fast-paced, all or nothing culture, that is so full of competing priorities. Wellness is just another item on all of our to-do lists. It makes it all feel so exhausting. Getting fit does not have to be so hard!

When it comes to wellness, something is always better than nothing. You do not have to run marathons to get fit. Walking counts. There are simple ways to eat that can help you feel better. It’s possible to get a decent night’s sleep and still get all of your work done. Water goes a long way to help your energy level. Hammering down the basics when it comes to health is not sexy, but it goes a long way to help us feel better more consistently.

I became a Health Coach more than a decade ago after facing a crossroads in my own life. Shortly after my 35th birthday, I was diagnosed with early stage ovarian cancer. That was 18 years ago. I am lucky to be here today.

Cancer is challenging for a control freak and problem solver like myself. (It’s challenging for anyone…) The only shred of control I felt I had was how I treated and managed my body. I had been an athlete as a child, but I had lost my way. And my food choices were sub-optimal, mostly based on whatever was lying around after snacks my children (now young adults) had eaten. I knew if I was going to get well I needed to change my ways.

I set out to heal. I studied survivors like I was earning my PHD. I read books about food and physical movement. I took in Reiki. I contemplated how my body was saying no and how my mind had played a role in allowing an unwanted visitor to take up residence in my body. I prayed. And I prayed some more. And miraculously days turned into months. And months turned into years.

The truth is…I got lucky. And there is not a day that goes by that I do not thank the universe for allowing me to stick around.

For me, movement is life. I feel closest to God when my heart is pounding and I am doing something to challenge my body. That almost got taken away from me 18 years ago so I will never take exercise and healthy living for granted.

I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of people over the last decade who have stepped up for themselves and transformed their lives to feel healthy and strong. It simply takes the commitment to get started. One step at a time. One day at a time. Any change you make – even the smallest – carried out consistently, adds up over time. Before you know it, exercise and healthy eating will be part of your every day life!

If you are in a hard place – as many of us will be at some point in our lives – I want to instill hope that things get better. In my 53 years I have faced cancer, challenging family situations, the death of both of my parents and countless friends. But as I age, I get more optimistic. Because even the hard days are a blessing. I love my life and I want to help you love yours as well.

Abbe is a graduate of Kenyon College (BA) and Columbia University (MPA). She is a National Board Certified Health Coach through the National Board of Health & Wellness Coaches, a Certified Martha Beck Life Coach, a Certified Body Image and Eating Psychology Coach through the Institute of the Psychology of Eating, a Certified Nutritional Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, an Intuitive Eating Specialist and a former ACE-Certified Personal Trainer.

Click HERE to watch me talk about exercise after cancer.

HERE I am talking about running my first marathon.