Marlu Martin “Coach Marlu”
Dance and Background
Dancing is my happy place. As a child, Flamenco was my preferred, probably because I could not do a split in ballet class! I danced until I was a junior in high school, hanging up the castanets to dedicate to a stable life-long career.
That career was Opticianry. I received all the certificates and licenses to work as an ophthalmic assistant, contact lens technician, dispensing optician, ophthalmic surgery assistant and refractionist. I owned two optical shops and slaved over them. Then my first child, Kryzelle, was born.
By 1996, dancing had not been a part of my life for many years, but fate had other plans. Kryzelle had her first school dance approaching and everyone said she had two left legs, I took it upon myself to make her feel confident. I could not teach Hip Hop, and Booty dancing was out of the question, so I taught her what I knew. When her friends heard her complaining, they showed up excitedly to have me teach them too.
In six weeks I had a full class and began charging the moms. Jaslin, my second child, was 15 months old and joined us too. We performed for 50 parents at the end of that school year on our back patio. Most importantly, Kryzelle learned to dance Flamenco, projected confidence in her body moves by finally coordinating hands and feet, and clearly showed a newfound pride for her mom. I achieved more than expected!
The elementary school where my students went wanted me to teach, so I became a Miami Dade Public School Community Instructor. I taught Flamenco and Etiquette in the afternoons, after work, the highlight of my day. I also worked twelve years for local dance studios, and when Zumba became a necessary class, I volunteered.
Roll forward 16 years: picture me remarried and with my two big kids, the youngest being 17 years old, the oldest with an 8 year-old child of her own. Kryzelle and Jaslin were not the only ones shocked when at 47 years of age I found out I was pregnant.
Three months in the pregnancy, I lost my full time job, was between dance academies and felt fatigued all throughout the day. The doctors pictured gloomy visions of defective babies and Down Syndrome because of the mature age in motherhood. There was nothing they could say to me, I was going to have my child. If she was going to be mentally retarded or physically handicapped, I was going to deal with it. One in eight children of moms over 45 have that possibility.
Then MY health became an issue. I dealt with gestational diabetes and handfuls of symptoms. In my case, I stayed prediabetic after the baby was born. No medicine was prescribed, but a strict diet and the pinching of a finger four times a day for sugar levels was a daily routine…and I continued gaining weight.
Never before had I worried about weight or health. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and didn’t gain a pound until 2012, when I became pregnant with the youngest. When the baby was two years old, I was 40 pounds heavier. I understand now it wasn’t just the late-in-life pregnancy. It wasn’t just because I was turning 50 years old. I had stopped moving. Dance, Zumba, Exercise, not even Walking was figured into my daily routine!
To make matters worse, our little family habitually eats out, and my family does not consider a meal without red meat and dessert.
Overweight, not feeling well, seeing my obese husband (now ex) declining in health, with neuropathy and popping pain killers, made me stop to think we are not getting any younger and our little daughter will be an orphan sooner than later. Even then I knew it doesn’t have to be that way. I can change things. But what do I have to change to modify that horrific outcome? I didn’t know.
What I did know is I would have to change my thinking, so I could change my habits. And by changing my habits, I would improve my health and the odds of living longer.
Nutrition and Diabetes Education
I dove into nutrition and diabetes education.
1. I read a diabetes book cover-to-cover
2.I taped hand-made posters on our kitchen wall to remind me to substitute certain foods for healthier ones.
3. I discarded the unhealthy pantry and fridge foods.
4.I began the change in MY diet, MY routine, MY mindset. Affirmations, visualizations, and goal-setting helped.
If you want the same results, get them! Take the support of someone who went through it.
There is so much to say! Suffice to say that I had to take control of my life, even while there was opposition in the home front.
The positive modifications in my attitude affected my relationship in a great way. I grew strong, placing boundaries, and affirming my needs. The person who was my husband had low self-esteem and felt threatened by my growing self-confidence.
He tried to control my study time, put down my dreams, and eventually gave me an ultimatum. And that was enough to open my eyes. As he placed my car keys on the table and told me to leave, I did. It was not what he expected. He wanted to keep humiliating me. But I had learned to trust my instincts, apply self-love, and keep my chin up.
Been There, Done That
Now that I’ve done it, removed 45 pounds from my body, and gained self-esteem, I feel empowered to help others find self-love. I received my certificates and I’m ready to help, backed up by education and personal experience.
I should mention that the first year of my transformation back into shape and health was not solely done through diet. It was difficult for me to plan healthy meals and snacks. There were many errors. Daily even. So, I went the route of prepackaged nutrition. And to maintain the mental strength, I read books and learned to journal. Later, I learned to meditate.
Did some research in the health industry too. Found out that Body Key by Nutrilite has American farms, certified organic, where they get the ingredients for their products. They do not add artificial flavor, artificial color, soy or sodium. They are gluten-free. The meal bars can be ingested by nursing moms, pregnant women and children. Many products are Kosher. I absolutely fell in love with the line. I still take them. There is one product I don’t give up: the ready-made chocolate shake meal replacement. On-the-go days this products saves me. And because I now have a whole-food, plant-based diet, the supplements of Vitamin B is of utmost importance.
So, if I was going to be consuming the products anyways, why not become a distributor (Independent Business Owner) and buy them at discount? So it is that I became an Amway geek and specialist in the weight management products: Body key. I now have a website too! www.amway.com/marlumartin where clients can buy the same products I take. And, guess what? Coaching support is FREE when you buy a Body Key Variety Pack or $140 worth of products.
Whether someone needs help with
or need clarity to pursue their life’s purpose,
I am qualified to help. It is what I love to do because I once had similar problems. I overcame them and you can too.
I am a Self-Love Coach, Lifestyle Modification Coach, and Soul Coach to help people change the way they see their life, their health, their soul, and to help them achieve their goals. In whatever I can help, it is my calling to.
- Life Coach Institute of Orange County. Received Professional Life Coach Certification
- Zumba Fitness. Received license to teach Zumba.
- AFPA Holistic Nutritionist Program. Received Certification in 2017.
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