Cari Pierce is the proprietor of two local Westminster businesses, Flip Yours Fitness and Wellness and Change Space, both located at 19 Liberty Street. Pierce is a certified health coach, certified sports nutritionist, certified functional strength coach, and certified personal trainer. She specializes in the art of wellness.
Previously in a marketing career for over 20 years, Pierce had health issues and was getting sicker and sicker. She was not finding success in traditional western medicine treatment so she took personal accountability of her own health and began to heal herself.
She improved her health through lifestyle changes such as stress management, consistent exercise, better sleep and true nutrition. “The game changer to overall health, what is at the core of real wellness, is sleep,” Pierce explained. “So many people pride themselves on how little sleep they get.”
To improve her sleep, Pierce established a decent bedtime and a consistent wake-up time. She stopped using electronic devices before bed. When she works on her computer or phone in the evening, she wears blue light glasses.
“The eyeglasses block the blue light part of the spectrum that can disrupt the body’s melatonin production and circadian rhythm that regulates our sense of wakefulness and tiredness. Light exposure at the wrong times of a 24-hour cycle not only negatively influences sleep, but also can possibly be connected to increased blood sugar levels and obesity. Sleep is a vital reset for our bodies and minds,” Pierce said.
Pierce encourages eating whole foods, which she describes as “foods that were once growing and that remain in their original form.” She explained that the reason most diets work for as long as we are on them is because we are “on” a diet. Once “off” a diet, people gain weight back. Instead, Pierce teaches clients how to eat for life. Real life. No diet.
“Wellness is so much more than just having information,” Pierce said. “The art of wellness requires that we change our thinking as it relates to health. That we think of nourishing our bodies instead of just eating.”
Pierce helps people move safely, confidently, and progressively. Everyone benefits from meaningful movement. According to Pierce, the difference between exercising and training is that training is exercise with intent, planning and purpose. “Training is science.” Pierce said,
Pierce describes true lifestyle change as a long, slow journey that most people give up on too soon.
Finding success with her own health-improvement and healing efforts, Pierce changed careers to be a holistic health coach and personal trainer to share the insight she has gained with clients and to build community environments that makes major wellness lifestyle change approachable.
After opening her studio, Pierce created Change Space, a welcoming meditation room and wellness lifestyle retail boutique that anyone can enjoy, but that will speak especially to people who desire to achieve healthier internal and external environments for themselves.
She stocks mediation supplies, wellness books, personal care products, household items, chic clothing, fashion accessories, crystals item and professional lines of nutritional supplements.
So many of the products are chemical free, made of natural ingredients and are sustainably made and sourced. “When you walk in the door, you would have a hard time making a bad decision.” Pierce said. “Many things people buy work against them rather than for them health-wise.”
There are locally handcrafted artistic items including laser-cut wood earrings by Libby Trostle of Gypsy Crafter. The store also offers sterling and crystal jewelry by silversmith Lizzie Bowersox. There are also unique, natural items made by hand and in small batches by micro businesses from across the country and the globe.
One of the more unique finds at Change Space is the meditation room.
“By design, I tucked this lovely meditation space in a very approachable retail setting,” said Pierce. “When folks ask about the space, about meditation, and they have an idea that it’s ‘woo-woo’ weird, I hope to give them a different impression,” Pierce related. Meditation is such a powerful tool, healer and personal development mediums, she said.
Pierce thinks of her training facility, store and meditation room as a combined laboratory and artist studio. It is a place where clients and customers can learn sound principles and purchase purposeful items so they have the correct skills and tools to express wellness for themselves.
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“The art of wellness is recognizing the real science-based, physiological consequences of being unhealthy, acknowledging the true value of life we’ve been blessed to have and being willing to take personal accountability through our actions to express ultimate care and concern for that life by taking care of ourselves,” Pierce said.
Her tagline at Change Space is: “Meaningful change will happen when we choose to make space for it.” She has cultivated a space where customers can ask health questions, be guided by a knowledgeable professional, know that they are welcome, and can have a sense of true connection.
The meditation room is open for any visitor’s meditation use when the store is open and Pierce shares her meditation most days at noon. It is currently online during the pandemic via Facebook Live @changespacecommunity.
“On the studio side, Flip Yours, we talk about changing your thinking and changing your actions to change your life. That isn’t lip service. Real change takes real, changed actions,” Pierce said. “Change takes getting vulnerable with yourself and asking for help. It is giving consistent effort over time,” she added.
“During this time of virus exposure, sickness potential and the overwhelming unwellness of our general population, focusing on being healthier and less vulnerable is an art form to practice, to keep honing, and to finally master,” Pierce said.
Lyndi McNulty is the owner of Gizmo’s Art in Westminster. Her column, An Eye for Art, appears regularly in Life & Times.