1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
Mary Ellen Ciganovich – author “Healing Words, Life Lessons to Inspire”, Holistic and Spiritual Educator, Life Coach.
In the past I taught middle school for over 14 years in 4 different states – North Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia and Connecticut before being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1986. (Not to worry I am fine) I now teach Holistic Healing , Spirituality and am a Life Coach.
Note to you before I go further: Although today I consider my self healthy – my doctor records read otherwise: At the age of 6 yrs old I was diagnosed with epilepsy – I never let it hold me back. I was fortunate that my mother was a school teacher and she could instruct the other school teachers to treat me normally. I was a varsity cheerleader and a teen model in Atlanta. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in Education from the University of Georgia – married and had one daughter who is now a Physician’s Assistant in Arizona. After a difficult divorce I moved back to Atlanta and took up playing tournament racquetball. This is when my MS was diagnosed because when I would get hot I would lose my balance and I would start seeing 2 balls?????!!!! Didn’t know which one to hit – I finally quit this sport and play now on occasion for fun or to teach someone the sport. Since I was diagnosed with MS in 1986 I have never taken any of the Multiple Sclerosis medications as they were not available then and since I am doing so well now I do not wish to take anything I do not KNOW I need. My neurologist is very supportive of me and my self-healing philosophy. I am very strict about what I eat and drink – I take work out classes daily varying from aerobics to power flex to yoga and pilates.
I apologize for adding this information and I did not think you would understand me – if you did not know what I have been through.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
My entire family inspired me to be healthy because they “saw” me as sickly – due to my diagnosis – so I always worked hard to be healthy. I just wanted to be normal. I guess if I had to pick one person it would be my mother.
She always told us to drink milk so our teeth and bones would be strong and healthy. Mom also encouraged us to go out an play ride our bikes etc… Soda – like Coke and Pepsi – were forbidden in our home. It was either water, organge juice or milk.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
Mom was the oldest of 7 brothers and sisters in an all Polish family. They never had enough money for milk and eggs – or the foods she considered healthy – she mad it her mission to make sure her children had these good foods. I think it worked as I have a great smile and have NEVER had braces or anything!
4. How did their lesson change your life?
My mom taught me discipline, responsibility and very healthy eating and living habits. She made us responsible for our rooms being neat and organized. We could not go out to play unless all homework, housework and chores were completed.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
I brought me daughter up in essentially the same way – with a little bit more compassion and friendliness thrown in. She is very responsible, very neat and organized. She graduated from Northwestern Medical school with honors and is now a practicing Physician’s Assistant in Arizona. Stephanie – my daughter – has decided to become a vegetarian which is fine with me. I am not a vegetarian and I eat very little meat – almost no red meat and NO pork.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
My message to kids would be to go outside play and have fun! Put your video games away until the power goes out or late at night. I miss seeing kids jump rope, play kickball in the streets or just run in the yard catching lightning bugs! Also put away the carbonated beverages – carbonation is one of the worse things a kid can consume – not only is the sugar bad the carbonation is horrible for anyone kid or adult! Also read – not on a kindle – hold a book in your hands and read! Go camping or make a fort in the woods – be childlike – have FUN!!!!
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?
www.askmaryellen.com or friend me on facebook under Mary Ellen Ciganovich