About Jennifer Ettinger
The following is an exerpt from Jennifer Ettinger's Best Selling Book "Find Your Inner Goddess"...
I have been challenged my entire life with health and weight issues. It may stem from the fact that I was born two months early and only weighed three pounds, four ounces. I suffered from swollen glands as a child, to the point where my tonsils needed to be removed. I was the girl who put herself to sleep and I always required a solid sleeping pattern. When I was 14 years old, unbeknownst to me at the time, my mononucleosis began. This was also the same age that I found myself at Weight Watchers, running out the back door afterwards so that no one from school would see me.
Everything changed in the year 1995. I moved to Toronto to be with my fiancé. It was a year of so many new beginnings: a new country, relationship, and career. I landed my dream job at Sotheby’s Auction House. Having interned for them in New York City, my goal was to become a decorative arts specialist for this oldest and most reputable auction company in the world. It was an intense job, not due to work expectation, but the internal politics (can we say, “Devil Wears Prada”? I can now say that with a smile). I noticed I was getting worn out from the internal stress and that my nerves were shot. I started gagging on a daily basis. My body was shouting at me that this was not the place for me. I resigned and took a promotion at Ritchie’s Auction House, which is a local house in Toronto, Canada. The staff was mentoring, nurturing, and like a family to me.
I loved my role, but soon realized that my body was having a hard time keeping up. I was exhausted beyond belief and severe dark circles and enflamed lymph nodes took over my body. I started jotting down my symptoms and was sent to a chronic fatigue specialist where I was officially diagnosed with the illness. It became so bad that I was forced to resign my job and went on health disability from the Canadian government.
At this point, I was in complete disbelief. What happened to my life, my body, my will? My entire life leading up to this diagnosis, I was blessed with incredible opportunities. I attended the prestigious New York University and the Fashion Institute of Technology, where I earned the following three degrees: An Associate’s Degree in Display & Exhibit Design (aka fashion styling), a Bachelor’s of Art in Restoration/Museum Studies and a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies: Connoisseurship of Decorative Art. Besides Sotheby’s, I also interned at Barneys New York, working on photo shoots for Lauren Hutton and Spike Lee.
I met incredible visionaries, such as Karl Lagerfeld and Gianni Versace, and also worked for talented designers in the area of furniture and jewelry.
I looked into the mirror and did not recognize the woman reflected. I was ill, bloated, and overweight; truly, a broken spirit. I was sad, but didn’t consider myself clinically depressed. I decompensated to the point where I realized my life was consumed by TV (to this day, I can barely watch Oprah – no offense Ms. O!) and that if I made it to the shower, I would call my husband and share the “good news” that I got out of bed. Really, I am so surprised he stayed with me!
Following the doctor’s protocol was not easy. Every three weeks they gave me a new pill to try. I was a guinea person for the disease and red-flagged at the pharmacy for the amounts of medication I was being prescribed. Again and again, there were no improved health benefits from the prescriptions. When I was having a “good day,” my husband would take me to the local bookstore. I was consumed by my illness and bought every book on the subject. Interestingly enough, they all had the same correlation:
“Healthy eating, exercise, proper supplementation and meditation.”
My initial reaction was “Yeah, right, I can barely get out of bed, let alone exercise!” One day, I woke up to a fork in the road. I saw that I was no longer living, in any way, shape, or form. I realized I had to make a decision. I could either surrender to my illness, accept the fact that this was the way the rest of my life would be, most likely lose my husband, and just live in this sickly shell of an overweight body, or I could try the alternative protocols that I had been reading about. I decided I was going to fight and reclaim myself, that no matter what it took, I would not go back.
My husband, Mike, bought me a used manual stair-stepper from a woman who just gave birth. I began stepping two minutes a day. I was wiped out afterwards, but these two minutes were two minutes more than the day before! I began a vitamin protocol, started counting my calories, and fired my doctor.
I saw on an episode of Oprah (yes, I was still watching TV), a live outdoor episode of a man called Billy Blanks and his new fitness craze called TAE-BO. I made it my goal that I was going to be able to perform that workout. By year’s end, I was Tae Bo-ing and burning 800 calories in an hour!
We relocated to Michigan as I was still re-building my health. I quickly figured out that all of these experiences were giving me the opportunity to reinvent myself from the inside out. As I continued to get stronger, I began reshaping the rest of my life. I combined my background in fashion, cosmetics, and museum studies with a new credential in fitness and health by becoming a certified personal trainer. This was when Fit Your Style was born.
Learn more about me and Fit Your Style HERE.