Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC "The Mojo & Lifestyle Fitness, Inc.
FINALIST: Fit and Healthy From the Inside, Out

Debi had a husband, a home, four kids, four dogs and a thriving private practice as a Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer. She also had chronic, unmanaged stress, toxic, dysfunctional relationships and a bad case of trying to be "Super Mom."

It started with bursitis in her shoulders-she couldn't lift her children and had difficulty raising her arms. Next she developed anxiety and insomnia. She was getting sick constantly with upper respiratory infections and seemed to be catch every virus her children would bring home from school. She started losing her hair, breaking out, gaining weight and developed severe back problems-two herniated discs and degenerative disc disease. Apparently, she'd worn away the cartilage that cushions each disc, they were pressing directly on the nerves and causing unbearable pain. Doctors told her she'd need surgery but there'd be a chance of paralysis.

Next she developed debilitating arthritis in her feet. She'd done the same thing, worn away the cartilage in her feet. For 2 years, she had cortisone shots in her feet to manage the pain until it just didn't work anymore. Doctors told her the damage was probably due to her years of running but she wondered why some people were able to run into their 70's, sometimes even 80's and she could barely walk before her 40th birthday. Something wasn't right.

Surgery seemed to be the only option so she timed the surgery so while she healed, she'd study to become a Whole Health Coach-a heath professional trained to teach how the body creates health/wellness or illness/disease. She had a strong feeling that there might be a link between her lifestyle and her health and Debi was looking for answers. She thought she'd find them through this line of study.

What happened after that was incredible. Debi learned how perfectly interconnected the body/mind were and learned exactly how her body was breaking down because of her level of chronic stress and her chaotic lifestyle. She decided to undo the damage she'd caused and started by letting go of her toxic relationships-she soon felt lighter/freer. Next she cut back on her schedule-she became less anxious, slept better, her hair started to grow back, her skin cleared and she lost weight. Next she purposely became more positive and optimistic-her back healed. As she felt better, she started to take more chances-soon she was able to walk then run, eventually becoming completely healed and pain free because she became proactive; taking responsibility for her health and eventual recovery. She went from living in constant pain to living pain free, illness to health and misery to joy. She felt like she "got her mojo back" and started working differently with her clients-focusing on having them take responsibility for their wellness, versus "telling and selling" and giving advice like she'd been doing in the past. She began simply offering a wealth of information so moms would be able to decide what's best for them. In doing so, they'd feel more in control, understanding that their health, wellness and happiness was entirely up to them. They started taking responsibility for their throughts, their feelings, their behaviors, their actions and their habits. They started "getting their mojo back" and branded her "The Mojo Coach."

Her healing, along with new insight in wellness, inspired her to create Lifestyle Fitness, Inc, a company and a program which focuses on the six areas moms struggle with most-nutrition, fitness, stress control, emotional health, relationships and spirituality. Previously, she'd only focused on nutrition and fitness; she later understood that she'd neglected the other crucial components of health and wellness and learned that while eating healthy and exercising were a great start, they weren't enough for true health, wellness and happiness from the inside, out. Now she understood that only when all 6 areas are strengthened do moms look, feel and live her best and she wanted to share her story and message so that other moms could learn the secret to lasting health, fitness, weight loss and wellness as she did. She wanted to get her message out on a broader scale and decided to write a book: The Lifestyle Fitness Program: A Six Part Plan So Every Mom Can Look, Feel and Live Her Best, recommended by Parenting Magazine.

Immediately after that, she created a charity program which was honored for it's uniqueness. Each month, 50% of her profits go directly to charity. Also each month, a "mom or the month" is chosen, based on her ability to make significant lifestyle changes-for her. Besides recognition in a monthly newsletter, the chosen "mom of the month" has the additional reward of deciding to which charity Debi's profits go. Moms would not only see the physical, emotional and spiritual effects of her lifestyle changes but would see the global impact as well. It would also serve as a great teaching tool for her kids. Moms were becoming healthy, happy and enjoying their ability to help others less a biproduct of their own success!

As moms began to learn about Debi's powerful message of empowerment, they wanted more. She began to speak, create a series of coaching programs, information products and other services so that she'd be able to inspire and empower as many moms as possible to become their best. Were there challenges along the way? More than you can imagine but her firm belief in her message and ability to heal through taking responsibility and losing the "victim mentality" enabled her to turn obstacles into opportunity, adversity into new adventures. There were so many areas of unfamiliar territory, so many failed and unsuccessful attempts at putting her ideas into tangible form. It would have been so easy to give in...and give up. But she had an unwavering belief that mom is the glue that keeps the entire family happy, healthy and together. She's the greatest influence in her children's lives and there's no greater way to teach than when mom is a powerful role model herself. She also believed that you learn more from your failures than from your successes and took each failed attempt as an important lesson to learn from, fueling her passion even more. Finally, she felt that it's also a great teaching lesson that when mom fails at something, she picks herself up, learns from it and makes herself stronger, wiser and better.

The other message that Debi teaches today is that it's entirely possible to live your dream. Everyone has a unique talent, gift or strength. When you figure out what that strength is, fuel it with enough emotion, passion plus practical application, it leads to personal and professional success. It's simply a matter of discovering your passion, listening and trusting your intuition, facing your fears and going for it anyway; because right beyond that fear is joy, passion, bliss, exhillaration and the true reason why you're here. She's a living example and a realistic role model showing any mom that if she can do it, they can do it too!