Certified Personal Trainer, Educator

Background:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with Honors from University of Dayton, Magna Cum Laude
  • Master’s Degree in Education at Drexel University, Summa Cum Laude

Larah specializes in developing a customized personal training program to achieve whatever your goal for your physique, your health, or your life.

  • Finding a healthy relationship with food and fitness
  • Utilizing food and fitness to help manage metabolic disorder – PCOS, Type II diabetes / pre-diabetes, hashimotos / hypo – thyroidism
  • Increasing overall energy
  • Strength and Performance Training for athletes (student athlete / weekend warrior / elite athlete)
  • Shaping your physique / bodybuilding competitions

Larah truly believes that personal training is a personal relationship. Get to know a little more about Larah what why she does what she does:

Larah credits the training and nutrition elements of personal training to not only helping her feel better, but helping her feel NORMAL and FULLY RECOVERED for the first time in over 7 years after having life saving surgery when she was 18 years old. Her experience through her 7 year recovery process has been one of the most education experiences of her life. The ultimate lesson was that proper exercise and nutrition CAN CHANGE YOUR BODY, RESTORE YOUR HEALTH, and IMPROVE YOUR LIFE. After learning that first hand, Larah has dedicated her career to sharing that with others and empowering each person by helping them reach their physical potential.

Larah’s Story

Ruptured Stomach, then Digestive and Eating Disorder

I was 18 years old, in college, and having what I thought was “the college experience.” Despite being recruited for DI softball and walking onto the DI track team, I quit both and ultimately wasn’t playing sports for the first time in my life. I did, however, still exercise for at least an hour a day, felt strong, and still fit in the same jeans I wore in high school, so I thought I was doing well. I was 18, having a blast at college, and my GPA for the first semester was a 3.9. Things were going great, right? Wrong. Getting shingles in the beginning on the second semester should’ve been a sign. But it wasn’t until finals week that I was about to find out how wrong things actually were. My sister was on campus visiting, I was on my way to a work meeting, then we were going to grab some lunch. Half way through the work meeting, pain overtook my body that was so intense. My throat felt like it locked up; I couldn’t talk…and I can handle pain. My sister took me to the ER right away. 8 hours of testing and not enough morphine later, doctors figured out I had a stomach ulcer that ruptured, and everything in my upper digestive tract was leaking out into my abdominal cavity. Not good – Life threatening, in fact. Emergency surgery at 1 am. The 13 cm incision from my belly button to my sternum was left open to “self heal”, since the it was a dirty surgery.

It took about 3 months, but the scar healed. Still went on all my summer vacations, spent a month in Costa Rica and a week down the shore. It wasn’t until I was back at school for the next year that reality set in: I wasn’t better. My digestion was messed up. Not to mention I was starting to realize the gravity of what had happened and I was pretty freaked out. Doctors said everything was normal. My stomach emptied slower than it was supposed to, but nothing they were too concerned about. Doctors insisted for 5 years that I was fine, despite my inability to keep food down. Though I was not bulimic, food did stress me out – made me very anxious. I physically could not keep food – and even water – down sometimes. Some days, I was fine all day, other days, I would regurgitate part of what I ate 3+ times per day. My weight and body fat were about 140 and 25%, which put me in the “normal” range for each, but I knew I was unhealthy…And I was definitely unhappy. Acupuncture from Max Muenke and regular yoga practice helped to some degree. You could say it calmed my physiology. But benefits plateaued, and I still wasn’t 100% better.

Then I met Lou. I started lifting heavy again for the first time since when I played sports and I shifted some key elements in my diet. Not 6 months later, I was keeping EVERYTHING down. Magic? I thought so at the time. But my personal certified fitness trainer education has taught me better. Now I understand what my problems were: stress, poor sleep habits, poor nutrition, poor absorption, excess sugar in my diet, poor nutrient balance and poor nutrient timing, and poor hormonal balance due to lack of proper exercise. Doctors saved my life and I will always be grateful for the power of western medicine, but no doctor ever talked to me about my lifestyle habits. And ultimately, Proper Exercise and Nutrition HEALED MY BODY, RESTORED MY HEALTH, and GAVE ME BACK MY LIFE.

2 BIG Healthy, Baby Boys 

Conception, pregnancy, delivery, and nursing.  It’s the miracle of life that we so often take for granted.  I feel very blessed and proud to have been able to experience this miracle first hand.

Diagnosed with PCOS at age 23, I was told I might have a problem being able to conceive.  Fast forward 5 years and I’ll just say – there was no problem!  My first – Vinny – was born 9 lbs 12 oz – vaginally and Kody was induced 1 week early (so he wouldn’t be so big), born 8 lbs 8 oz – vaginally as well.  I was blessed to be able to nurse both boys exclusively for 6 months, then in conjunction with food for 11 and 15 months respectively.

I attribute my good fortune in creating healthy boys (and losing the baby weight!) completely to my exercise and lifestyle / nutrition through out pregnancy.  I exercised -with doctor recommendation and supervision – with both weights (modified of course!) and cardiovascularly right up to the week of delivery.  I ate according to APA recommendations according to trimester and week of development – and listened to my body, too, of course!

Diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes

Shocking, but true – in November 2016 I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes.  Despite my big babies (especially Vinny at 9lbs 12 oz!), there had been NO signs of blood sugar irregularity leading up to this.  Perhaps my proudest personal accomplishment yet (because it scared me the most), I was able to rehab my body to health blood glucose levels in less than 4 months.  Read that story here.

Larah’s “New Normal”

I train others to empower themselves to get what they want from their body and their life….because it makes me happy to make others happy.

My life is a balance of my life’s work (helping others through fitness and nutrition) and my family.

When I’m with them (or enjoying the rare ME time!) you’ll find me PLAYING in this wonderful world.  I consider myself adrenaline junky – I love swimming giant waves, hiking/climbing big mountains, competing in spartan races and other things a little crazy.  I also relish in the quiet moments of life – yoga, meditative nature walks, the peace of the inner silence I get from a focused lifting session.

I used to compete against others, but now I compete against MYSELF.  That’s why I train – to make myself BETTER.  

What will be your reason for training?