Empowering Woman: Angela Moore Opens Up About Her Life’s Work
People might sign up for classes at The Body Principle with hopes for a smaller waist or bigger biceps.
While those are definite perks of regularly attending and putting in the work, founder and owner Angela Moore said her clients are much more likely to thank her for helping them get through tough life issues.
That interplay between exercise, nutrition and mental health is at the core of the Orion-based integrated health studio. Moore’s Zen spirit and approach to healthy living are born of personal life experiences tinged with trauma.
“I have done both the personal and professional work to get to this place in my life,” she said.
Surviving a Traumatic Childhood
Moore was challenged by a dysfunctional childhood of neglect and abuse, made worse by the death of her mom when Moore was 13. Only 42 when she died, Moore’s mom succumbed to a stroke. Her high blood pressure was masked by an outwardly healthy appearance. “She was sick, but you didn’t know it necessarily by looking at her,” Moore said.
She was moved abruptly to a new home with an aunt and uncle that were good people, however, emotionally ill-equipped to deal with a grieving teenager. Moore said they didn’t know how to deal with her grief and instead, ignored it.
Nobody explained to her why her mom had died, or even what it meant to have a stroke. She grieved on her own but found an outlet through running track in high school.
“When I would run, I would feel better,” she said. “I would feel that I could run through any obstacle.”
Support from her coach and team helped her do well in school and on the track and she was eventually offered a full track scholarship to the University of Virginia. She never looked back, embracing the opportunities that education afforded her, including access to the university’s counseling center. “That’s when the healing really started,” Moore said.
Her positive experience with counseling and further grief over her brother’s suicide in 1992 at the age of 26, propelled her to pursue a master’s degree in counseling, specializing in depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief and loss and life transitions.
Channeling Her Grief Toward Helping Others
Inspired by her mom and brother, Moore also embraced healthy eating and exercise habits. By integrating mental conditioning, nutrition planning and physical health, Moore strives to empower others to take charge of their own health – all aspects of it.
When people come to The Body Principle, they’re assessed on all three fronts and follow a personalized program. Moore advocates for small steps that build to success. It could be looking at a client’s current diet and helping them make tweaks to make it more nutritious or finding realistic ways to increase physical activity. The mental piece of the puzzle is often harder to address. Moore said sometimes people don’t want to deal with issues in their past that could be affecting them in the present.
“It can be very scary to do,” she said.
Giving clients tools they need to make positive changes is fulfilling for Moore. She didn’t always know how to tend to her mental health, eat well and exercise – she had to learn. “You have to know to grow,” she said. “I want to help everybody else do the same.”
She extends her empowerment mission by helping young people through her Propel Youth Empowerment program, designed to improve the self-esteem, self-confidence and self-efficacy of youth through personal exploration, progressive skill development and peer support. She also hosts a radio show, Empowered, on 910 AM every Sunday from 3-5 p.m.
Married to Detroit Lions great Herman Moore, with whom she has two sons, Angela Moore knows her life could have been different. She’s thankful she found it within herself to rise above her personal challenges and that she’s uniquely positioned to help others do the same.
“It’s so amazing to me when I think about this life and how awesome it is,” she said.
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All photos courtesy of Angela Moore, used with permission