My name is Anneli Hartmann – most people call me “Lee”.  I was born in Passaic, New Jersey but grew up overseas as a military brat in Germany.  I attended and graduated from the Department of Defense School System – go Mannheim HS Bison!  My husband and I moved to Florida after leaving Germany and have lived in the sunshine state over 20 years.  We have a son, who is getting married later this year and a daughter, who is a senior in high school.  We also share our house with a very spoiled Himalayan-mix cat.

I worked for the US Army for many years, am a licensed real estate broker and investor, and also a certified personal trainer.  Like is so often the case, life has thrown some curve balls here and there which caused career changes and adjustments.  Although I still work primarily as a Realtor, I love being a personal trainer.  It combines my love for fitness and strength with my passion to help and motivate others to achieve their “personal best.”

In December of 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Having lost my mother to this disease, I vowed to do whatever was necessary to ensure that I would be around for my children and grandchildren.   In January of 2010, I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.  It was the right decision for me.  I’ve never questioned it and I am at peace with it.  The reconstruction journey has been painful, frustrating and filled with detours but thanks to an innovative procedure developed by Dr. Roger Khouri and performed at the Miami Breast Center, I now have breasts made of my own fat.  Pretty amazing stuff that I’ll be happy to share with whomever is interested or who knows someone that might benefit.  Breast cancer is scary and although it seems that we have information and awareness overload, sifting through all the static to find real answers and effective help is hard.

It was during my surgeries and subsequent recoveries that I realized just how important physical fitness and exercise is to me.  After each surgery, my goal was to get back into the gym as quickly as possible so I could regain my strength and stamina.  Throughout those 15 months, I felt like I was on a real-life version of “Chutes and Ladders”  – whenever I was back in shape and getting stronger, another surgery would knock me back down a couple of rungs.  Nothing to do, but get back in and climb back up!  Now that I am completely done, I’m not quite back to the level I was before but I’m getting there.   I’ve come to appreciate more than ever before, that proper nutrition and exercise are powerful tools that are ours for the taking.  We take so many things for granted in life but like I mentioned, life throws us curve balls – it’s up to us how we react to those challenges.

So, I’m happy to join Pat and bring you some advice, tips and tidbits about personal fitness and nutrition.  My email is:  

Articles by Anneli Hartman

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