During the last 25 years, we’ve certified over 110,000 professionals. To celebrate our 25th year in business, we’re selecting 25 grads to showcase this year. Meet our next featured grad, Rosie Acosta, an AFPA Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, who's been certified with us for 10+ years and has used to her certification to build a successful health and wellness career.
How did you originally become interested in health and wellness?
When I was in my late teens, I suffered from debilitating panic attacks, I was on medication for depression and suffering from PTSD, and I was severely overweight. I grew up in East Los Angeles during the LA riots, so I was in a very chaotic environment growing up. There was never really any education around taking care of yourself or knowing the right types of food to eat or the right way to take care of your well-being. So, by the time I was a teenager, I was almost 200 pounds.
I was really struggling with a lot of different things in my life but especially my health. Around this time, I found yoga. I was introduced to yoga as a lifestyle as opposed to a physical practice. At the same time, I met a personal trainer, who knew a lot about nutrition, and I was introduced to a different way of taking care of your body and your health.
I was really interested in the fact that food actually had the ability to heal. It didn't take very long for me to realize that I had the power to control my well-being. Once I did, I just fell in love with learning about how food can actually change your mood, your body, your mental state, in accordance with being active. I started to lose weight. I started to see all of the benefits of actually getting healthy, and I fell in love with it.
Why did you choose the AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Certification?
In my search for finding the right certification, I stumbled upon AFPA's online courses. I was working full time and going to school full time. So, I needed to find something that was good that I could do on my own time. The AFPA course curriculum was everything that I wanted to learn, and it was all online, so it totally spoke to me.
I did a lot of research, and I did find a lot of other schools out there. Something that stood out to me about the AFPA program was the fact that they’ve been around for so long. I loved that they have longevity, and to me, that added validity to them. I was really concerned with doing something that had merit; I didn't want to just sign up for some random coaching certification or some really big branded thing.
It just felt to me that AFPA really did their homework. They really valued the material that they were bringing to the forefront of all the different programs that they had. I liked the fact that they've been around for over 25 years. And that's what convinced me.
What is your career now?
Today, I am a certified life coach, health and wellness consultant, and a yoga teacher. With my nutrition and wellness consultant certification, I'm able to consult with clients that want guidance on how to eat, how to get healthy, and how to create lifestyle changes within their environment to create a better life.
What was your career prior to getting certified?
Before I became a full-time yoga teacher and a health and life coach, I was working as an executive assistant and it was 24/7. My life really revolved around doing tasks for a company and for somebody else, as opposed to me doing tasks to fulfill my own dreams and my own desires. So, getting my certification was a moment for me that helped solidify the fact that I was really interested in what I was doing, and I really wanted to create a better life for people. I was so tired of living my life helping somebody else fulfill their dreams. I was so ready to fulfill my purpose, to really step into what I wanted to be doing and who I wanted to be.
What is your favorite part about your career?
One of my favorite things about what I do is that I get to work with people. I love to be able to connect with people, and I love to be able to see the changes in people over a period of time. I love people that are willing to commit to their health for like a year or two years or three years. I have people that I've been working with for over 10 years at this point. And to me, the most rewarding part is to be able to see them thrive and to be able to see their lives actually change and their bodies change, their energies change, everything changes, and all because they were willing to commit to their own health and wellness.
Can you share some of your client success stories?
I have so many stories of people that I've worked with. I've worked with Afghan vets that have changed their life around using modalities like yoga and meditation, as well as nutrition and holistic health. I have many clients that I've worked with that were severely overweight and have now lost so much weight. People that were prediabetic. I've helped a lot of families together; I've gone into households where the whole family wants a revamp on their nutrition, and I've gone into their kitchens and taken everything out of their pantry and taught them how to choose certain foods and how to cook certain things that don't take a lot of time.
How has this AFPA nutrition certification impacted your life?
The AFPA certification was the first certification I received. It was so vital for me just with my own health; everything that I was learning, I was applying to my own life. It was easy for me to transition that in working with people. I was able to utilize my certification right away because I had so many people asking me what I was doing. And so I was kind of using myself to see how all these different modalities and everything that I was learning about health and wellness was working. I then started using everything that I learned right away to see clients.
This certification has been something I've used for the last 10 years. I've seen such a huge impact on people's lives because of it. Our health is the only commodity we actually have, so if we don't have our health, we don't have anything. It's so important for us to really learn how to take care of ourselves or to have people that care enough about themselves and about the people around them to get a certification like this or to learn about nutrition and health so that they could bring that education to everybody else.
Also, having the accreditation has helped so much because it's given value and validity to what I provide for my students and for my clients.
What advice do you have for others who are thinking about getting certified?
I think that if you have a desire to get into the field of health and wellness, regardless of how saturated you think it might be, you have to do it. Every single person has their own unique medicine to give to the world. And it doesn't matter if we're all learning the same thing; your particular way of relaying the information to one particular person, it could be exactly what they need to hear in that moment. So I think that if people are curious about it, absolutely do it. That's always been my advice.
The one thing that I will say is, make sure that wherever you go, the schooling, the certification, the accreditation is substantial and it's valid and it comes from a reliable source. This is the one piece of advice I give everybody. I get so many people asking me where I did my certification. And I always, always tell them about AFPA. They’ve been around for over 25 years, way before a lot of these newer schools were born. And I feel like there's efficacy to that, and I feel like there's a stronghold in the information that they're teaching us as practitioners and as educators that I feel they really hold the highest standard.