I’m Meg Sullivan, CPI, CFT – library loving school nerd and athlete turned CPA…turned Pilates teacher. I’m a wife and mother of three, two toddlers and a husky.
I’m the serious one who loves rules and precision. You’d think this would make me a great CPA, but having to sit behind a desk for 10-14 hours a day just didn’t cut it. After burning out in corporate America, I asked myself, “If I had all the time and money in the world, what would I do?” The answer was simple – Pilates. Pilates acted as a springboard for nearly everything else in my life – my love for health, movement, flexibility, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and ultimately possibility.
Some women ask for jewelry for their anniversary-I ask for museum memberships. I love libraries and have never been bored (except that one time when I was at the airport, I’d finished my book, the book store was closed, my computer was out of battery life and all the outlets were taken – ahhh!)
I look serious on the outside, but just know that whether I am wearing running shoes or high heels, there is a crazy color of nail polish on my toes… and if we ever get together to celebrate, I’ll be the one with the champagne!
After 5 years in Corporate America, I realized how miserable I was and that there must be a balance around three main areas. You need to ask yourself:
1. Do you like your work and does it have an impact?
2. Does it pay you well?
3. Does it allow you to do things you love outside the office?
While I loved the precision of Accounting, I didn’t feel that my work had an impact. Long hours, lack of sleep, overdosing on caffeine and takeout meals just made matters worse. I’d accepted that with this lifestyle, there would be weight gain. I was physically active but still carried an extra 30 pounds. At one point, I told my husband that we should try to have a baby-not because I was ready, but because I needed a break-even if that was a maternity break because at 25 years old, that was my only “acceptable reason” of how I could escape my job. I had only been working in corporate for 3 years. Everything was a struggle. My temper was short, my frustrations were high and it was even a struggle to get out of bed.
I was never afraid of hard work, but I knew this wasn’t living. I started looking for another Accounting job, but it wasn’t just the company. I needed to make a huge change.
I thought back to when in my life I was happiest. It was when I was involved in gymnastics and Pilates-and Pilates was my answer. I became an instructor and eventual owner of a post-rehabilitative Pilates business, seeing clients with injuries or surgeries who were not yet back to their pre-injury condition. It’s here that I realized movement is one spoke on the wheel of health BUT there’s also food, lifestyle, happiness, and confidence.
I know what it’s like to say, “I’ll do it when I lose the weight, or when I’m not so busy.” I started making these things a reality for myself and want to show others how to do the same.
I am passionate about this work because for too long I was putting my life on hold.
The truth is, we absolutely have control over how we experience life. Sometimes you just need to hear that what you think is a major block can be easily cleared. It’s learning that YOU are your #1 priority and that it’s not selfish. You are your best when you are at your optimum level – emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
I’m Shannon Sullivan, CHHC – recovering accountant, former CPA turned holistic health counselor. I’m a wife, athlete, coach, and dog-lover
I LOVE to cook and occasionally indulge in trashy tv (my friend produces The Real Housewives of New Jersey). I’m obsessed with my dog and pushing myself physically, whether it’s training for runs or hiking the tallest waterfall in Yosemite. I’m also adventurous and love being able to indulge in my spontaneous side!
I live equidistant from the mountains and the ocean and can’t choose which one I like more. I’m happiest when I have a life full of variety and love being part of strong communities, both local and virtual. I’m a pretty even split of tomboy and girly girl and love being able to jump between the two depending on how I feel each day. Getting lost in a great novel is still one of my favorite things to do!
I’m a newlywed, loving married life and live with my husband, Rick and our 3-year old pup, Kelly. I love
yoga but I am extremely inflexible, so I guess you could say I love a challenge!
In my corporate accounting job I struggled with a lot of things – Staying motivated, connecting with my true purpose, and creating a schedule and a lifestyle that supported me. Sure I was meeting my client deadlines and being praised for my work ethic, but I was headed toward burnout and I knew it, luckily before it hit full on. I ended up in a doctor’s office, afraid I’d developed an ulcer or something worse, but my lightbulb moment was when he told me my fatigue, digestive issues, and weight-gain were related to chronic stress.
I felt 100% out of control. Work owned me and I allowed myself to be a slave to it. The idea that chronic stress and a sedentary life were causing me physical pain was too much, so I had to start investigating how to fix it. Most of my office was hooked on caffeine, was accepting of the extra 10-15 pounds they’d put on since starting to work there and generally didn’t value the search for the kinds of answers I was after. They weren’t my tribe.
In my search for better health and a more sustainable lifestyle, I enrolled in integrative nutrition school and learned a lot about how our bodies follow our mind and the amazing interconnected web of mental and physical systems. I was hooked. I felt happy and supported after realizing that changing my life in this way was within my control. My stress-eating, my caffeine habit, my making time to exercise, AND thriving in my career was all within my control, and I felt on top of the world.
After I lost the weight, got a handle on my own emotional eating, and learned firsthand what it took, I wanted to get out there and tell as many people as I could about this! Meg and I teamed up and created Whole Food Love and now Enlitened Life, where we get to do just that.
My mission is to show women what it takes and then empower them to take that aligned action.
It absolutely devastates me to see a woman who is in the shoes I used to be in-sacrificing everything (body, mind and spirit) for their career. My mission is to show women that you can have it all, and that can be on your terms, but there is an art and a science to it. Master that and it’s yours!