By Patricia Danflous
Forget about the “Freshman 15.” Rebecca Moos entered college carrying extra weight she’d gained in high school, and defied the statistics by dropping 80 pounds in her first year at the University of Colorado, where she discovered a lifestyle full of movement and mindfulness. Her story is not about weight loss success, however. It is an inspirational tale of finding herself and a career that she absolutely loves.
Two minutes into an interview with the 34-year-old counselor and Pilates specialist, it’s clear that she is no longer hindered by her own weight issues, self-professed love of cake, and the need to fit in. Instead, Moos brings passion and experience to Mindful Movements, her innovative practice offering counseling, Pilates and wellness techniques to help individuals take control of both physical and mental struggles.
“I was the fat kid,” Moos says of her elementary and high school years. “I had to go to a therapist as a teen for eating issues, and for being anxious and hyperactive. I sat there listening to the therapist telling me what I was doing wrong and how to be different. I hated therapy. I absolutely hated it.”
Unlike her own experience, Moos doesn’t tell people what to do or what to eat. She guides and encourages each person to use mind, body and spirit awareness to live happier, healthier lives. Partly in respect to her great-grandmother’s fight with Parkinson’s disease, her practice also includes pain management, exercise and rehabilitation for those with debilitating disorders, as well as those recovering from accidents and surgeries.
Everyone was eating healthy and exercising outdoors. That way of life became a part of who I was. All of a sudden the weight fell off and I had a completely new outlook.”
Moos admits that she was miserable as a teen, but didn’t realize how much pain she was in until she moved from south Louisiana to the mountains of Colorado. “Everyone was eating healthy and exercising outdoors. That way of life became a part of who I was. All of a sudden the weight fell off, and I had a completely new outlook.”
Moos laughs as she reminisces about finding a channel for stress while working on her master’s degree. “Without knowing what I was doing, I took my first Pilates class and felt a huge sense of relaxation. That was my lightbulb moment. If movement — whether it is walking, running, weight lifting, yoga, Pilates, or whatever — can elicit the same stress reduction response as therapy and counseling, how could I combine the two?”
Inspired by that lightbulb moment, her dad’s entrepreneurial success and her mom’s encouragement to be happy, Moos started Mindful Movements. She’s not only doing what she loves, but is also helping others to find their own lightbulb moments. Moos approaches each day with gratitude for her blessings, including her husband of 8 years and their new baby girl, Nora Frances. Sometimes she even celebrates the day with cake.
“I am not the fat kid anymore, but I still love, love cake,” she says, smiling.