Desiree Riley: From Corporate and Unhealthy to Fitness and Happy

Season #3 Episode #1

Special guest: Desiree Riley –COO and first Fellow of Fit to Navigate, single mother, mommapreneur, and certified fitness coach.

Dezi and Rokki Bonner discuss Dezi’s incarceration, the sacrifices people make to fit social norms, Dezi's decision to find her own path in the world of fitness, and the importance of being true to oneself.

  • Cruel justice system with a ray of hope.

Dezi talks about having been arrested for possession and distribution of marijuana and facing a long prison sentence. She feels frustrated that some groups have been traditionally incarcerated for such offences while others can produce and sell drugs legally. Luckily, this is slowly changing, as selling drugs becomes decriminalized.

  • Getting out of prison and in the new job.

Dezi is grateful that her history of a felony doesn’t affect her job interview, as she gets a full-time job. However, shortly afterward, sitting at a desk negatively affects her body and mind, as she gains weight and realizes she isn’t meant to work in an office. In spite of being offered a promotion and various benefits, she doesn’t want to sacrifice her health and quits the job. 

  • Life abroad.

What follows is a journey full of challenges mostly throughout Central America. Return to fitness and living healthy changes her mindset and life. She chooses her health and her family’s well-being over a stable and profitable corporate job – a difficult decision but the right one for her.

  • Back to the US.

Dezi is now fully dedicated to fitness and enjoys helping people. She earns less money than she would if she had stayed in her old company but has the privilege of spending a lot of quality time with her children. She compares the experiences of financially well-off people with her family’s experiences and she feels no regret at all.

  • What does fitness mean to Dezi?

Dezi becomes a certified fitness instructor. For her, being part of Fit to Navigate means purpose, a chance to merge her passions, and a way to provide her children with everything they deserve. She reflects on her present life and its benefits and concludes that everything is finally paying off after a long period of struggle.

  • What motivates Dezi?

Finally, Dezi sums up by saying that what drives her are her loved ones, family, and community – all the people she loves. She feels she is building a legacy for her children and the children of her loved ones, her clients, and hopefully future generations.

Follow Desiree 's Journey on IG:

Connect with Mind, Body, Gem guests and upcoming workshops on IG: @Fit_to_navigate

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