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Dr. Theresa Larson: How To Be A Warrior

“We all face wars inside of us. Some are self-doubt, regret, loneliness, fear of failure, and the need to be in control but we have weapons. Our weapons are love, good friends, exercise, nutrition, rest, and living in each and every moment.” – Dr. Theresa Larson

Are you holding back from asking for help out of fear of judgment, shame, or appearing weak?

In Wellness Force Radio episode 261, Author of Warrior: A Memoir, Physical Therapist at MovementRx, Host of the My New Normal Podcast, and former Marine Corps Engineer Officer and Combat Veteran, Dr. Theresa Larson, shares how the loss of her mother led to her bulimia, why it's a sign of strength to ask for help, and what helps her stay centered, balanced, and focused on herself by setting healthy boundaries.

Discover how to become your own warrior of wellness with Dr. Theresa's LOVE Principle:

  • Lead 
  • Oxygen
  • Vulnerability
  • Elasticity

Warrior by Dr. Theresa Larson

Click here to read Warrior: A Memoir by Dr. Theresa Larson

Warrior: A Memoir by Dr. Theresa LarsonIn this inspiring memoir, a former female Marine platoon leader recalls the wars she has fought—on the playing field, the battlefield, and inside her own soul—revealing how overcoming the harrowing circumstances in her life helped her ultimately redefine what it means to be strong and what “perfect” really is.

Theresa Larson has lived multiple lives. At ten she was a caregiver to her dying mother. As an adolescent, an All-Star high school, college, and professional softball player. As a young adult, a fitness competition winner, beauty pageant contestant, and model. And as a grown woman, a high-achieving Lieutenant in the Marines, in charge of an entire platoon while deployed in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Theresa was battling bulimia nervosa, an internal struggle which ultimately cut short her military service when she was voluntarily evacuated from combat. Theresa’s journey to wellness required the bravery to ask for help, to take care of herself first, and abandon the idea of “perfect.” In Warrior, she lays bare all of these lives in intimate and vivid detail, examining extremely personal and sometimes painful moments and how, by finally accepting the help of others, she learned to make herself whole. From growing up in a log cabin outside Seattle to facing down the enemy in Iraq, Theresa’s journey demonstrates that good health and happiness is a daily, intentional act that requires persistence and commitment.

Theresa hopes that through sharing her story, she will help inspire others to empower themselves, embrace their inner warrior and re-define strength. Startling and funny, terrifying and triumphant, heartbreaking and inspirational, Warrior is at heart a story of perseverance and success—of a determined woman who is model for everyone struggling to conquer their own demons. Theresa shows that asking for help can be an act of courage and that we are stronger than we think when faced with seemingly impossible odds.

What Being a Warrior Really Means | Theresa Larson | TEDxUCSD

Listen To Episode 261 As Dr. Theresa Larson Uncovers:

  • Why a true warrior is someone who is open to being vulnerable, asking for help, and taking ownership for yourself.
  • How her bulimia began and how she transitioned out for it when she finally asked for help and received the outside support she needed.
  • Her childhood and the story she told herself after her mother's death that to be loved, she had to achieve.
  • The special relationship she had with her mother and why The Phantom Of The Opera meant so much to them.
  • The words of advice and love from her mother that have made a lasting impact on her own life and wellness journey.
  • Why there's always a way out if you're struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.
  • How the sport of softball helped give her power, control, and positive affirmations.
  • The need she had to win and be noticed by everybody as a young athlete which then led to her struggling to take care of herself.
  • How she and her brothers helped their father improve his health and bounce back with purpose after the passing of his wife.
  • Why the more pressure people face, the more it exasperates undealt demons.
  • Why eating disorders aren't about food but an addiction that begins in the soul and the lack of belief in oneself.
  • The judgment she felt from other people when she went on medical leave during her deployment in Iraq.
  • Why judgment and dismissing opinions will only feed a person's addiction and negative behavior patterns.
  • The various tools of distraction we face today in modern society and how they affect our health, relationships, and wellness journey.
  • Steps she takes to set up healthy boundaries to stay true to her purpose, take care of her health, and be there for her family.
  • How she handles being the North Star in her own life without her parents no longer being there to support her.
  • What skills we can focus on obtaining to learn how to live in and embrace the present moment.
  • Why multitasking is taking away from your self-care practice and attention to life.
  • How to fill your cup by first spending time alone to self-reflect, get your thoughts out there, and get to know yourself.
  • The toll that invisible wounds like eating disorders can take on people and why you should never compare your issues to other people's.

Power Quotes From The Show

People shouldn't have to wait as long as I did to ask for help. There should be support already there for these individuals that are going to war. - @DrTheresaLarson of @MOVEMENT_RX Click To Tweet

“People shouldn't have to wait as long as I did to ask for help. There should be support already there for these individuals that are going to war. As our children grow up, we should be teaching them coping skills and that it's okay to be vulnerable. I find that the more vulnerable I am, the more authentic and powerful I am as an individual.” – Dr. Theresa Larson 

“You can look great from the outside and have all of this success but I want to know how you truly are, how you handle stress, and how you're coping with what you're experiencing. Asking other people or even yourself those kinds of questions matter. How are you coping? Do you have anything going on in your life where you just feel empty inside? Find out why that is and what's causing you to feel that way because that is not living.” – Dr. Theresa Larson

“Life is chaotic as it is and we have to let go of distraction. Put your technology away and don't have it with you at the dinner table or when you go out to eat lunch with your family. When you're doing a task whether at work or at home, solely be present with doing that task. Multitasking actually makes you really ineffective and scatterbrained. The key is to clear your attention when you're feeling overwhelmed, let distractions go, and be present with the person in front of you because that dopamine response you get is going to be so much greater.” – Dr. Theresa Larson

The Mission of The ADAPT Movement & The My New Normal Podcast

Links From Today's Show

About Dr. Theresa Larson

Dr. Theresa LarsonDr. Theresa Larson (aka “Dr. T”) has become one of the fitness world’s most sought after experts on movement health. Dr. Larson earned her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Saint Augustine in San Diego, CA. A former Marine Corps Engineer Officer and Combat Veteran, Theresa also played professional softball in Italy as well as semi-professional softball in the United States, was an All- American Division I softball player at Villanova University, as well as a former Body-for-Life Champion. Theresa founded Movement Rx with her husband in 2013 in order to break free from the limitations that traditional physical therapy puts on practitioners and patients. The result was a company where skilled practitioners can authentically treat patients with the time, care, and movement education they deserve.

Dr. Larson is determined to deliver health to as many people as possible with her team. She is an international speaker on movement & mobility for MobilityWOD, and is the creator and lead instructor of popular Functional Training for Adaptive Athletes program. She recently authored a memoir (WARRIOR) that was published in April of 2016 through Harper One, an imprint of Harper Collins, and is a co-founder of one of the cutting edge virtual rehabilitation and wellness company, Your Movement Prescription. YMP programming includes The Low Back FixThe Knee Fix, and The Shoulder Fix.
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In addition to her practice, wellness and speaking efforts, Dr. Larson is a huge advocate for Team Red White and Blue, a veteran non-profit, National Eating Disorder Association, CrossRoads Adaptive Athlete AllianceResiliency Project, and Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Theresa’s mission is to provide programs and education on mindset and movement self-care to the individual, the adaptive athlete, and to organizations so they can stay ahead of their health and continue to do what they love.


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