I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Erin Pande, wellness expert and educator of entrepreneurs, to have a conversation about how she used her personal story of overcoming obesity to inspire others and ultimately, came to educate entrepreneurs about their bodies and wellness. Here’s what Erin had to say about her story.

In your own words, what’s your story, Erin? How did you get to this position in the wellness industry that you’re in today?

My studies in this area began in 1997. I educate entrepreneurs about their body on the micro and macro level so that they can make informed buying decisions regarding their wellness purchases.

Transforming your body from obese to healthy takes time, persistence, and diligent action, even when you don’t at first see results from all of your efforts. The major responsibility that followed was to transform my mind so that it did not default to viewing myself as the obese little girl that I formerly was. Changing how you see yourself is vital to keeping the weight off long term.

I have heard it said that when you are committed to serving others and up-leveling an area of their life, you act as a bridge from where they are to a better place. It is inevitable that in this less than perfect world, you may be walked on, mistreated, or taken advantage of, in some way, shape, or form. I know how incredibly wounding this can be. It becomes your responsibility to choose to not become jaded, embrace a victim mentality, or simply dwell on what happened. I can personally say that if you keep your eyes focused on fulfilling your purpose, it becomes easier to remember that the validation, approval, or support of others is simply not required.

That’s great. It seems like you really know how to embrace a situation and find a way to spin it into something good! I can tell you know how to inspire others, but what inspires you?

I always start the day at the gym with solid spiritual- and business-related content filling my earphones. I only allow people to speak into my life that I value and respect because they have the character or results that I want to have in my life. I draw a very clear line in the sand on that one. I also tackle what I consider the tougher tasks of my day in the first part of my day.

Success, to me, is fulfilling my God-given purpose. When everything is said and done, I will give an account of how I used my talents, time, and resources. He is not someone that I am willing to disappoint.

I would also say that educating entrepreneurs on how to steward their body will have a ripple effect, because the leader is the one that sets the pace and tone of the of their entire organization. By serving the leader, I am indirectly impacting the entire organization.

Incredible. It sounds like you are a real self-starter, and I can see that that’s helped you to help other self-starters. If you could give readers one piece of advice regarding their wellness journeys, what would it be?

There are multiple people that have serendipitously entered my life at the exact moment when I needed someone objective feedback. All of them remain my closest confidants, mentors, and friends. The most profound advice they gave me was to be bold and to be gracious with myself.