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Living Her Best Life – How sculp’d+ Started



Wellness above all else

When I was in college, I thought I was living my best life; I got paid to do what I love – exercising. I taught all through college, it was a great way to make money and keep my mind active. Whenever I wasn’t studying, I was taking barre, spinning, CrossFit, P90X…you name it I’ve tried it. Despite exercise being a means to an end, I never considered it a full-time passion until later in life.

I was sitting around an office, looking at my colleagues’ carb-plump bodies and faces when I realized I did not want to sit in meetings accompanied by tantalizing sweets or chit chat over bagels and coffee in the mornings. So, I left my comfortable life and I followed my passion, opened a fitness studio…and completely wrecked my health. How’s that for irony?

The Beginning of Change

I have been a fitness instructor most of my life. After experiencing some setbacks with the more intense, physical movements of kickboxing and P90X, I realized I needed to find an alternative style because I kept getting injured from the aggressive movements. I started taking Pilates classes nearby, but they were never as physical or strength-focused as I wanted. I wanted the feeling of lifting heavy things, without the long-term pain on my joints!

With the help of my husband and family, I switched gears and focused on opening a Pilates studio in Old Town Alexandria. It was a scary but wonderful experience, and I look back on it with so much pride. Even though the path to success wasn’t easy, I think I’m having another one of those “best life” moments.

My husband and I researched all the types of modalities, including the varieties of Pilates classes available. After trying out numerous types of classes, I realized that the high impact and potential for injury found in some of the more intense workouts like CrossFit didn’t align with my goal of getting well. I wanted a muscle-building workout with variety that kept me interested, but I also wanted to avoid the long-term muscle fatigue in my back, shoulders, etc.

So what did I want in my studio? I decided on this specific type of Pilates class because it brought together the mind/body awareness that I personally think is so important for long-term health. To bring this class to Alexandria, I invested in a proprietary machine design, which we call the sculpdformer, that allows each person in class the opportunity to get a full body workout with zero impact to the body.

One of the critical areas where sculp’d+ differs from other popular low-impact workouts is that each unique workout is very focused on form. No matter the instructor or class, reminders to focus on the body and be aware of each muscle that is required to perform the exercise correctly keep the mind and body engaged in each class.

A Focus on Total Body Health

Launching a new business and changing my career took a toll on my health without me realizing it. I ate well, worked and exercised daily, and slept as best as I could. But two years later, I was sick. I was exhausted, had a constant upset stomach, swollen hands and feet, thinning hair, chafing thighs, and I gained 15 pounds. I was a mess. I felt awful and looked like I had been blown up with an air pump. No one had any answers, no matter what I tried or who I spoke to.

After seeing multiple doctors who could not fully explain what was going on, I found my way to a functional, integrative MD. They took a total and personalized look at the root cause of what was going on through a series of tests performed over a couple of weeks. Our findings shocked us both. I had significant inflammation, increased intestinal permeability, known as “leaky gut,” and my cortisol and insulin levels were way off. According to the medical team, I was on the cusp on an autoimmune disorder, pre-diabetic, and had the worst leaky gut they “had ever seen in 20 years of practice.” All the while, I had been eating healthy — eating clean, mostly real food, watching my gluten and my dairy intake, and consuming what I thought was a healthy diet as well as exercising regularly. What?!

The functional doctor prepared me for the years it would take me to fix the damage that had been building up in me these last four decades. She prescribed a supplemental regimen that was pretty intense, but also very effective. Within the first two weeks, I noticed changes right away, like less bloating and a diminished feeling of overall malaise. I followed the doctor’s orders to the letter and stayed the course.

Signs of Improvement


It took all my will power to push through. But after finally getting sound medical advice, I felt a sense of achievement I hadn’t felt before. Every day I followed her orders and my reward was completing the regiment, fixing my leaky gut, my sleep, and energy in only ten months! Sure beats the years I was expecting to go without some of my favorite snacks. 

So, what did I get for 10 months of pill-popping, eating clean, and avoiding all the food sensitivities? First, the best sleep of my grown-up life, no joke! I mostly sleep eight hours straight every night. Second, I no longer suffer from uncomfortable bloating. Third, I have thick hair for the first time in my entire life (well, thick for me!). Fourth, that puffiness (seen in my first pic) along with 18 pounds are gone. I had chronic diarrhea for so long I almost forgot what healthy poop was. Guys, it really truly all comes down to healthy poop. That was EVERYTHING for me — a healthy, balanced gut. And finally, finally, my weight dropped to a healthy, “my clothes fit again,” range.

Mindful Movement

I refused to give up on my health. When other professionals gave me lousy answers, I educated myself and found a way to get better in the long term. I used to spend money on overpriced purses and shoes, but now I invest in my health and wellness instead. I learned the hard way that nothing else matters if you’re not healthy.

People always said I was one of the healthiest people they knew with my diet and exercise regiment. Who would have guessed how the stress, gut disintegration, and lack of sleep would take its toll on me. It’s not an overstatement to say that changing my outlook saved my life. If I had allowed my situation to continue, I was destined for a life full of chronic illness and discomfort. Or worse.

If you’re looking for a workout that will help you find your fire, we invite you to try a Pilates class at sculp’d+. We’re confident that you’ll love our unique approach to movement and our dedication to helping you live your best life.

Call us today at (703) 337-3341 to schedule a class or learn more about our Pilates program.

We look forward to helping you move better, feel better, and live better!

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