I graduated from the University of Maryland, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health/Health Education — basically, health and wellness counseling (or “coaching”) before it became popular. My public health, health education, and wellness coaching experience includes program development and implementation, as well as working in patient triage and serving as a liaison at the Women’s Health Clinic — part of the medical facility on campus at the University of Maryland. Additionally, I interned as a corrective exercise and movement rehabilitation program assistant at Fitness for Health (currently Bethesda PhysioFitness — a collaborative program developed by the owner of Fitness for Health for the hypermobility/Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) community). During my senior year at the University of Maryland, I worked full-time to fulfill her internship requirement through a paid marketing assistant and health education specialist position with the Columbia Hospital for Women in Washington, DC. During her, six-month internship, I developed and implemented health education programs for underserved populations, participated in healthcare lobbying efforts, and assisted in the planning and coordination of Columbia Hospital for Women’s Annual Breast Cancer Awards.
After college, I worked for Johnson & Johnson as a territory manager for their Ortho-McNeil Women’s Healthcare Division. I remained in my position for six years, earning numerous top sales awards during her tenure, until I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) after the birth of my oldest child. Using the time away from my career while striving to learn about her illness, I focused on regaining my strength and determination through ways that I knew best. My desire to help the EDS community, coupled with my education, experience working in medical device and pharmaceutical sales led me to speak about Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and its related comorbidities from a patient’s perspective to several organizations, coordinated fundraisers to promote EDS awareness and support EDS non-profit organizations, and launching Strength/Flexibility/Health/EDS – a digital wellness magazine for those striving for “strength, flexibility, and health,” while living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) and related chronic medical conditions.
For close to five years, I served as Volunteer Coordinator for the HelpLine — one of the three core volunteers for the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation HelpLine (EDNF for short, and recently renamed The Ehlers-Danlos Society), by working diligently to help provide adequate information for the individuals who emailed the HelpLine looking for resources, including those searching for the best route to a proper diagnosis — often staying in touch passed a simple informational email exchange.
Through my volunteer work, I was able to hone her public health/health education experience by broadening patient reach and raising awareness of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and related conditions via various social media platforms. Similarly, patient reach and outreach on EDS only expanded as the result of providing personal health and wellness coaching services to a handful of patients of the last 5 years, guest speaking engagements, working with EDS specialists and other healthcare providers on various projects focused on patient and provider education, networking and supporting organizations who serve communities with comorbid conditions to EDS, and by holding the 1st active EDS fundraiser – The EDS Ride for a Cause, benefiting EDNF at Zengo Cycle in Bethesda, MD.
It was through my life and professional experiences, that I first founded Mediterina Medical Solutions, LLC, and then EDS Wellness, Inc. — a registered non-profit organization focused on organizing integrative health & wellness events and conferences, and on disseminating health education resources and materials for those living with heritable disorders and diseases of the connective tissue, and related chronic illnesses.
Why did I join Beach Body?
I love workout videos and always have. I have a library full of VHS tapes, DVDs, and now on an online library that is filled with countless workout videos, including Beach Body Videos. I remember when Beach Body started the whole “Beach Body Coach” program, but network marketing is not usually my thing. However, I am passionate about finding a way to help support your family, while having the flexibility to be available for those you love, and take care of yourself. Over the years, I’ve seen several friends come and go as beach body coaches, and I’ve watched those who have succeeded very carefully. While I have my hands full with my three small businesses and now a non-profit, one thing I noticed is that there were not many Beach Body Coaches who understood how to help those with hypermobility/EDS or even chronic illnesses. Because I loved the videos and did them often, I receive messages asking about specific videos, how to modify, and other related questions. Some coaches felt more comfortable having me answer questions for those who have chronic conditions, and would often either ask me the questions themselves or provide people my information so that they could ask me directly.
Joining Beach Body was a natural fit, and it’s one egg in the large basket of what I do. I also feel strongly about the opportunity for those who do want to work from home, aren’t on disability, and would like to try to build their own business, Beach Body is one of the best network marketing companies I’ve seen — and I’ve watched them for a long time. There is another group that I’m associated with as well for the same reason, and because of the benefits, I feel that this other company and Beach Body both offer to the Ehlers-Danlos and broader chronic illness communities. Always been interested in trying individual workout videos or programs, but hasn’t gotten the chance. Or, maybe you are scared to try a workout video in general. There’s a ton of workout videos that I love and others I want to try. And I know many feel the same, especially because people like to try something before you buy it – right?
If you have always been interested in trying specific workout videos or programs, but have not gotten the chance, or are scared to — now you understand why I joined Beach Body. There’s a ton of workout videos that I love and others I cannot wait to try; however, Beach Body is one of the most recognized fitness companies and working out is essential for the health and function of those with hypermobility. My biggest concern is for those who have mobility issues, other chronic illnesses, and various barriers that make working out difficult (i.e. Working parent and no time).
People often don’t know what to do, wonder if an individual video is safe for them, is there a way to modify the workout, don’t have an hour to workout, and sometimes 30 minutes is too long. Many people don’t know where to start or how to begin, especially if they’ve never been active, or haven’t been in a while. It’s scary. But who can’t do something for 5 mins? Or, who can’t at least watch something for 5 minutes and see if it may work for you? No one.
I am often asked how I stay in shape and remain so active, and the truth is – I’ve always made sure I can workout anywhere and everywhere I go. I also like being comfortable doing anything, as long as it keeps me active (i.e., if I only ran and couldn’t go running, then I wouldn’t workout). Workout videos and being able to workout at home is by far the best way to make sure you can always workout. Thankfully, I don’t make my husband schlep weights with us everywhere anymore – for the most part. I’ve learned how to use bands, TRX-like bands that hang over a door, and can workout just about anywhere – I.e. Dark room with my kids sleeping, hallways, bathrooms, kitchens, porches, etc. As long as I have a 2ft x 3ft space, I can do something. And something is better than nothing.
I’ve also learned to incorporate natural movement principles into how I move all day long – Ie. Wall squats when working in the OR, standing ballet exercises while standing in line, or bridges, leg lifts and isometric exercises while laying in bed. However, my biggest source of motivation has always been to do something for “Just 5 Minutes.” rule I made up for myself years ago to help motivate me when I don’t want to workout, feel horrible, or am in a ton of pain, is to move, even super slowly, for 5 minutes, and if you want to stop after 5 minutes, then stop. If not, then keep going. Sometimes my 5 minutes gas been just to sit on my yoga mat, which I did the last day in Costa Rica. Hollee and I miserably failed at doing sunrise yoga, but I still got up, and I still did something – I laid in child’s pose on my yoga mat and focused on being grateful for the opportunity to be there at that moment, versus beating myself up for not doing enough.
#Just5Minutes is the rule that I made up years ago to help keep me motivated when I did not want to workout, felt horrible, or if I was in a ton of pain. The point is to move, even super slowly, for 5 minutes, and if I want to stop after 5 minutes, then I stop. If not, then I keep going. Sometimes my 5 minutes gas been just to sit on my yoga mat, which I did the last day in Costa Rica. I miserably failed at doing sunrise yoga on one of my last days, but I still got up at sunrise, and I still did something – I laid in child’s pose on my yoga mat and focused on being grateful for the opportunity to be in Costa Rica at that moment, versus beating myself up for not doing enough.
If interested, message me, comment below with your email address, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Beach Body Info:
Screen Name: KNMyles
My Facebook pages:
Here is a list of the Online Support Groups that I started (affiliated with Beach Body and not directly affiliated with Beach Body):
- Team Beach Body Group for those with Hypermobility/EDS/MCAS/Chronic Pain
- Just 5 Minutes – Motivation for life & staying active (for anyone, not just those with EDS)
- EDS Wheelers to Walkers (focus is the very basics of how you build your strength little by little, baby step by baby step)
- Raising Active and Athletic EDS Kids
- Invisible Strength – Stronger 2 Gether (Previously “Our Stories of Strength” – a support group for anyone living with a chronic of invisible illness who has a story of hope, strength & perseverance).
- Moving Naturally with Hypermobility (focus is on content shared in the Hypermobility Seminars that I give, #PhysicalTherapy & #naturalmovement for all Hypermobility syndromes)
- Wellapalooza (Focus is on Integrative Health & Wellness Conferences & Retreats, and Integrative HealthCare)
- The Hypermobile Yogi – Yoga for Hypermobility Syndromes/Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS)