CHAPPAQUA, N.Y.-- Fifteen years ago, Joy Puleo gave birth to her son and then gained more than 200 pounds of baby weight. Not feeling like herself, Puleo decided to reclaim her body and help others do the same.
When my son was born, I felt like I had lost control of my body, Puleo said. The more I took control of my body, the less that plagued me.
Puleo then left her career as the Director of Student Life at Pace University to return to go back to school at Columbia University in pursuit of a degree in physiology. Through Pilates, gyrotonics and other movement-based modalities, Puleo helps others regain their self-confidence, mentally and physically.
After graduating from Columbia graduate school, Puleo worked in an aquatic center in Hawthorne where she found that patients with injuries and illnesses felt better while in the water. She then decided to duplicate those movements on land at her own studio, Body Wise Studio in Chappaqua, to help others reclaim their bodies like she did.
Two years ago, Puleo created her own non-profit organization, Body Wise Connection, to help people with illnesses, including women with breast cancer, regain their confidence inside and out.
Puleo was inspired to help those with illnesses by a friend in London who was diagnosed with melanoma and saw herself lose control of her body.
I had a friend in London who was diagnosed with melanoma, Puleo said. A break never went her way. She felt powerless. When people are diagnosed with cancer, your body detoriates so I thought, I need to help people reclaim their bodies.
Puleos next goal with her non-profit organization is to help educate inner city youths about their bodies.
I want to bring this to those who cant afford it. Puleo said. I want to teach kids how important it is to empower their bodies through movement and education.
Puleo uses her gregarious, affectionate personality every day to help her clients cope, clients that she considers friends rather than customers.
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