Crippled by low esteem, about 15+ Kg of weight at one point and a non-existent sense of self I was a hot mess. You wouldn’t have been able to tell that I was severely depressed and slowly falling apart on the inside because I was so great at looking like I had it all together on the outside.
I went through the majority of my twenties not believing I had anything to offer the world nor that I would ever find true joy and purpose for my life.
I kept doing what I thought was supposed to do until I found myself numb because my coping mechanisms didn’t work anymore so body shut down, miserable because I was tired of pretending to be happy, divorced at 28 because I didn’t love myself so I had no idea how to let someone else love me.
I was sitting in my studio apartment on the north side of Chicago when I committed to getting back up. I took out a piece of paper created a plan for how I was going to transform my life. That day I decided that I’d enough of betraying myself and that it was time to create true joy and happiness for myself, from myself.
I used my education (A Bachelor’s degree in health management, Certifications in Personal Training, Health Coaching and Pilates), I went to therapy, read more self help book than I can list here and a whole lot of practical experience from falling and getting back up to build a body I love and a life I love living.
I’ve never been in such a loving relationship with my body, myself and my life and I’ve made it my life’s purpose to empower others to do the same.
I help people lose weight yes, but my mission is so much greater than that.
I use my voice (in my blog writings and YouTube videos to share my experience as a natural haired, black millennial African (Namibian) woman navigating life, entrepreneurship and relationships as I continue to grow into the greatest most expressed version of myself.
I ride, especially hard for the #metoo movement and sexual assault survivors because I know what its like to have to fight a lot harder than most to believe that you are a person of value and that you do deserve a life of joy, freedom and abundance. PTSD, severe anxiety, depression and panic attacks are a very real part of my existence but I refuse to let the effects of an unfortunate hand I was dealt, hold me back from living a life of passion, purpose and ultimate bliss.
I use my story to show others that if I can do it, anyone most certainly can. I share my journey authentically and vulnerably (for real, check out my Instagram stories and you will catch me looking a mess but always standing in my truth) because on my worst days I wish I had somewhere to turn for the brutal, messy, beautiful truth of what living a life of passion looks like. It ain’t cute every day but I’m committed to keep showing up for myself and for those struggling to showing for themselves.
Nelao’s passion for holistic wellbeing led her to obtaining her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health Management from Luther College in Decorah IA, USA, and becoming a certified personal trainer and Pilates Instructor at Fitness Formula Clubs, rated Top Gyms in Chicago. She then went on to get a Health Coach Certificate through the American Council of Exercise. Her own personal transformation led her to start her own company with a mission to empower women with tools and confidence to foster sustainable health and well-being for themselves and their communities.
Her experiences, which she openly shares on various platforms, enable her to be relatable and empathetic towards those she works with regardless of where they are in life. Through her coaching programs, workshops and lifestyle content, she has helped people connect to their purpose, transform their bodies and their lives.
Nelao is a member of two start ups both with a mission to economically empower rural Namibian women while offering unique Namibian products. Pure Marula by Taneta manufactures cold-pressed marula oil for hair, skin and massage. Oukaku baby shoes and PTNL offer custom made accessories handcrafted from vegetable tanned Namibian leather.
Development Bank of Namibia
Namibia Broadcasting Corporation
University of Namibia
Namibia University of Science and Technology
Namibia Medical Care
Namibia Broadcasting Corporation
Namibia Correctional Services
Namibia Police Force
Ecumenical Social Diaconate Action