Let’s give Coach Stephanie a warm MKT welcome! Stephanie is a compassionate coach dedicated to helping her clients reach their health and wellness goals. Stephanie is the new Director of Nutrition Coaching at MKT and a personal trainer. Stephanie’s 1:1 Nutrition Coaching Program will be ready to launch in March. You can read all about Stephanie and her impressive credentials below.
Master’s of Science, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology – University of Missouri
Bachelor’s of Science, Biochemistry – SUNY Geneseo
American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EPC)
USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach (USAW-L1)
The Impact of Exercise and Fitness
I have been an athlete my entire life. I was a 3-sport athlete in high school and I played Varsity Women’s Soccer at SUNY Geneseo for 4 years.
After my college career ended, I fell in love with barbell sports. I have dabbled in powerlifting, strongman, Crossfit, and now Olympic weightlifting!
Fitness and athletics have empowered me my whole life, both as a person and a woman. In a world that is obsessed with physical appearance, focusing on my performance and strength has been my own personal rebellion. Athletics is the one place where my body is seen as a machine rather than an ornament. Further, as a female athlete, I am strengthened by the fact I represent something much bigger than myself; I am a symbol of gender equality and the sacrifice of all the women before me who fought for, Title IX.
Fitness and athletics have taught me hard work, sacrifice, and commitment to excellence. But most importantly, it has taught me that our biggest limiting factor is ourselves – that with some guts, confidence, and unrelenting grit you can accomplish far more than you ever dreamed possible.
The Turning Point
I first moved to Columbia in 2016 to pursue my PhD in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Missouri, where my research area was diabetes in post-menopausal women. Graduate School provided me boundless opportunity to learn and grow. I was engrossed in my coursework, research, and teaching. I wanted to learn everything there was about science and metabolic diseases. I learned new techniques, how to read and write like a scientist, and how to complete big projects as a team. But unfortunately, as the months went on and the research demands increased, my full immersion in basic science began to feel increasingly hollow. Despite valuing science as the foundation for modern medicine, I found myself longing to have a direct impact on people. I started volunteering at the University of Missouri Hospital in hopes it would help fill the void.
Interacting with patients humanized medicine for me and brutally revealed the extent of my disconnect. As a graduate student, I spent countless hours every day studying the pathology of diabetes, yet until I started volunteering, I didn’t fully understand the magnitude of someone losing their limb to gangrene. I’ll never forget the painful, speechless moments of trying to comfort a new amputee, both of us quietly wondering how he would ever regain his autonomy. The frequency of diabetes-related amputations is astounding, and for the first time, I truly understood the patient experience associated with those numbers. Volunteering made me realize that I allowed my excitement for learning to detract me from the hardships of my neighbors. That spring, I decided to finish the program with a Master’s Thesis and pursued a career that directly serves and interacts with the community. I have been an Exercise Physiologist and Nutrition Educator ever since!
Feats of Strength
- 2019 U-25 National Champion, taking gold in Snatch, CJ, and Total
- 2019 University National Silver Medalist in Snatch, Bronze Medalist in Total
- 2019 Senior National Championship & American Open Finals Participant
- Missouri Record Holder in the Clean and Jerk
Other Proud Moments
- My first bar and ring muscle-ups
- Strict HSPU and double unders! (I took on SO many battle wounds learning those)
- Mile time, sub 6 min
- Squatting and Deadlifting > 2X Bodyweight
I want to be a plant mom SO DESPERATELY. I went to the desert the first time last October, and since I’ve fallen in love with succulents.
I love buying cute little plants, convincing myself that this is a good purchase AND THIS WILL BE THE ONE! But alas, these rendezvous are merely a guilty pleasure, because ultimately none of my plants have ever prospered and it seems to always be a waste of money, hope, and the life of a plant.
Hobbies and Happiness
I grew up in Northern New York, in a small town north of the Adirondack Mountains and neighboring Lake Champlain. Nature has always been my place to play, learn, and explore. When I’m not in the gym, I’m usually on the trails with my dog Lyla or planning my next camping trip. I love the child-like wonder that comes with taking in all of nature’s beauty, particularly sights I’ve never seen before. My significant other and I are on a life-long mission to visit all of the National Parks.
I am thankful for a loving tight-knit family, my significant other, and our two looney dogs.
I am especially thankful for my healthy body & mind. Lastly, I am thankful for having the BEST JOB EVER: facilitating adult recess & improving relationships with food!