Photo by Encarnacion Photography
AGE: 33 / LOCATION: Milpitas, CA
GIG: Blogger & Nutrition Coach / SPORT: Weightlifting
Joanne lived in the shadows of depression and anxiety. She describes this time of her life as feeling crippled by her own thoughts; the hardest part of the day being the moment she woke up. A little over three years ago, her career at a standstill, growing apart from her husband, and a meaningful presence lost with her children, Joanne realized these dark emotions were taking over her life.
“I’m fighting to redefine the meaning of self-love
through health and fitness.”
Healing didn’t happen all at once, but she found refuge in proper nutrition and daily exercise, eventually sharing her story with others on social media and her blog (gofitjo.com). But depression isn’t instantly cured, and Joanne found herself suffering an intense episode in 2016 that made it difficult to continue pursuing her purpose. “I had to coach myself through every step,” Joanne remembers, “from getting out of the car, to walking to the gym, to every single rep.” She doesn’t sugar coat it, saying that the episode was hard, but exercise and proper fuel helped her get through it.
Weightlifting and plyometrics are Joanne’s go-to workouts for building strength, and she muses that for her, weight loss is not the hardest thing—maintaining weight loss is. “You have to raise the stakes every day.” Aside from her goals in the gym, Joanne is also undergoing a career change from working in the corporate world to achieving her certifications in health and nutrition, with dreams of operating a private practice to aid others in creating their most energetic lives. Most notable of all, though, is Joanne’s personal mission to empower her daughters. “They need a strong example of a woman who is persevering through all of life’s challenges,” she says. “That person needs to be me.”