I exercise to keep my mental health aligned with the person I know that I am. And with the version of myself who I want to discover.
— Christine Coen

Growing up, healthy choices and lifestyle were pretty easy for Christine. Coupled with a pretty straightforward and privileged path - good grades, good college, good job - it was simple enough to go through the motions and end up living what Christine calls a “mindless, by-the-numbers” life.

 

Then one day, nothing felt very easy anymore.

 

Christine’s lack of mindfulness about her own life started to catch up with her. In less than a year, she was burnt out and struggling at work. Meanwhile, at home, a close family member was struggling with a mental health crisis involving bipolar disorder and alcohol addiction.  Her stress and cortisol were at an all time high. Throughout all this, Christine found herself becoming more and more apathetic towards her own life. She was exhausted all the time, binge eating throughout the day and night, isolated herself from friends and family, and ended up gaining over 30lbs, which caused her to feel more shameful and embarrassed by the day.  

 

She knew she needed help, but she didn’t know how to start. Her days became a see-saw of attempts to snap out of it and actions that drove her deeper into depression. Christine researched depression and overeaters groups, but she also ate ice cream for breakfast, left work early to go to sleep, and cancelled plans because of her anxiety and fatigue. Her once mindless healthy lifestyle felt so hard and far away from her current daily life.  She finally accepted that she was struggling with depression and anxiety.

 

And then she didn’t tell anyone.

She didn’t see a doctor.

Didn’t go on medication.

She let shame overtake her and bring her lower.

 

One night a friend dragged her to a hot yoga class which she left covered in sweat with heart rate racing, her breath both deep and strong. Christine realized that it was the first time she felt good in months. That one class made her feel connected to herself, there was a heaviness that was lifted. She felt lighter, calmer, more peaceful, and more hopeful than before she walked into that class. It was at that point that Christine had her a-ha moment and realized: movement made her better. Not to lose weight or burn calories or to punish herself for overeating, but because if she could feel this great and strong and calm from exercising, maybe she could use it to feel better a little bit every day.

 

Soon after, exercise went from being the way Christine felt a little better every day to the way to tap into her inner strength.  This became her ‘why.’ Over the next few years, she worked through her depression using exercise and nutrition, which let her to start her own personal training and nutrition business CC Nutrition & Fitness INC.

 

Christine is committed to empowering others who are going through their own mental health struggles to use movement to transform themselves!

This is about an inner transformation. The outside, the aesthetics, is just the cherry on top.
— Christine Coen
 Struggling in silence with depression, anxiety, and binge eating for 2 years! I was afraid, embarrassed, ashamed to tell anyone she was struggling inside, even though her body and I’m sure her face could only hide so much behind a smile. I was working in the fitness industry already, was a personal trainer and dietitian who couldn’t even keep her shit together!   The girl in the first two photos was- unhappy, stressed, living from a scarcity mindset, believed every single thought (mostly negative) in her head, lived from fear, felt numb and apathetic towards everything, was following what she thought she “should” do, did not reach out for help, stressed daily and binge nightly, stayed up as late as possible because she wanted to postpone having to get up the next morning, slept whenever she could to escape during the day, numbed out on tv and food, was undiagnosed with depression and anxiety, did not workout anymore, ate a high sugar and processed food diet, hated myself inside and out, and let herself get in the way of any attempt at moving forward. Expected perfection. Stuck in a deep dark hole of depression.

Struggling in silence with depression, anxiety, and binge eating for 2 years! I was afraid, embarrassed, ashamed to tell anyone she was struggling inside, even though her body and I’m sure her face could only hide so much behind a smile. I was working in the fitness industry already, was a personal trainer and dietitian who couldn’t even keep her shit together! 

The girl in the first two photos was- unhappy, stressed, living from a scarcity mindset, believed every single thought (mostly negative) in her head, lived from fear, felt numb and apathetic towards everything, was following what she thought she “should” do, did not reach out for help, stressed daily and binge nightly, stayed up as late as possible because she wanted to postpone having to get up the next morning, slept whenever she could to escape during the day, numbed out on tv and food, was undiagnosed with depression and anxiety, did not workout anymore, ate a high sugar and processed food diet, hated myself inside and out, and let herself get in the way of any attempt at moving forward. Expected perfection. Stuck in a deep dark hole of depression.

 The woman today, in the last 2 photos, took a lot of work to build-and is still building!! Let me be clear, I’m not talking about physically, I’m talking about on the inside. The outside is just a reflection of what is happening on the inside! It’s the cherry on top! - I started using exercise not for weight loss, but to heal my mind and tap into my inner strength! - I used movement to connect me to my body and get out of my head, used the exercise endorphins to take small steps forward in my life. - Started to ask myself what do I want!? And how do I give to myself so that I can give more to others.  #oxygenmasktruth  - Asking What’s one thing I can do today to get my mind in a better place? And doing it - Letting go of perfection or what I honk it needs to look like, and just doing. Being consistent! - Opened up to others about what I was struggling with - Developed morning rituals   - Traced my binging to my attempt at numbing out from my issues and other emotions.  - Started asking myself what is it that I really need right now- if it’s not Food I’m craving what is it!? Then sitting with the answers that came up.  - Started moving daily even if it was for 5 minutes! - Gradually quit drinking as my chosen activity every weekend  And many other things slowly adding them in. The biggest shift was deciding, committing, that I was no longer going to watch myself slowly die and exist from a low level. Committing that I wanted to live fully, experience life, be joyous, not run away from my issues, and do whatever it took to have that!

The woman today, in the last 2 photos, took a lot of work to build-and is still building!! Let me be clear, I’m not talking about physically, I’m talking about on the inside. The outside is just a reflection of what is happening on the inside! It’s the cherry on top!
- I started using exercise not for weight loss, but to heal my mind and tap into my inner strength!
- I used movement to connect me to my body and get out of my head, used the exercise endorphins to take small steps forward in my life.
- Started to ask myself what do I want!? And how do I give to myself so that I can give more to others. #oxygenmasktruth
- Asking What’s one thing I can do today to get my mind in a better place? And doing it
- Letting go of perfection or what I honk it needs to look like, and just doing. Being consistent!
- Opened up to others about what I was struggling with
- Developed morning rituals

- Traced my binging to my attempt at numbing out from my issues and other emotions.

- Started asking myself what is it that I really need right now- if it’s not Food I’m craving what is it!? Then sitting with the answers that came up.

- Started moving daily even if it was for 5 minutes!
- Gradually quit drinking as my chosen activity every weekend

And many other things slowly adding them in. The biggest shift was deciding, committing, that I was no longer going to watch myself slowly die and exist from a low level. Committing that I wanted to live fully, experience life, be joyous, not run away from my issues, and do whatever it took to have that!