Valeria Teles

Fit for Joy

eBook, Hardcover, Softcover
(25 customer reviews)

In this intimate memoir, first-prize fitness competitor and personal trainer Valeria Teles invites you to reflect on the idea that joy is an ever-present choice. Fit for Joy: The Healing Power of Being You will inspire you to establish a harmonious mind-body connection that is based on self-knowledge and self-love. Look Inside

The book is also available through Amazon and BN or ask for it wherever books are sold. The ebook version is available through Amazon and BN, or ask for it wherever ebooks are sold.




Fit for Joy: The Healing Power of Being You

Training Body and Mind through COURAGE and FORGIVENESS

“The more fit I became; the more unhappy I was…why?”

In this intimate memoir, first-prize fitness competitor and personal trainer Valeria Teles invites you to reflect on the idea that joy is an ever-present choice.

From a young age, Valeria yearned for a life that would bring her joy. She hoped to find it in relationships and a successful career, but neither brought a genuine smile to her face. She then discovered fitness, which became her escape—keeping her even further from the truth, until she could no longer live without joy.

During a meditative period away from the fitness world, Valeria learned that exercise and enjoyment belong together, and that forgiveness is essential for personal healing.

Now a student of Buddha’s teachings, she shares her vision for conventional fitness that is integrated with emotional and spiritual well-being.

Fit for Joy will inspire you to establish a harmonious mind-body connection that is based on self-knowledge and self-love. Insightful and tender, this book will show you how freedom, joy, and peace come from courage, and that courage can be found by being true to yourself.

Praise for Fit for Joy

“This book reminds us we are more than our bodies, we are souls having experiences in our body, in search of our true JOY.” ~ Tamilee Webb – Author, Buns of Steel and Abs of Steel Instructor

“An acceptance of spiritual reflection is one prerequisite for appreciating this story’s approach. Those who hold such openness will discover a treasure within.” ~ Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“An inspiring look that aims to set the foundations of healthy living through a mindset of healing the inner-world.” ~ April Pfender – Author, Reiki Master practitioner and Spiritual Arts teacher

“When I finished reading the book, I felt a peace that I could control how I let things affect me.” ~ Sally Shupe, Author

“A raw and emotional story that is told from the heart of Teles.” ~ Patti Loveday, Author, Blogger

“What an incredible, true and deeply moving message! I admire your honesty and courage to bring this to the world.” ~ Albena Kervanbashieva, New York Ballet Instructor

About the Author

Valeria Teles is an inspirational writer, an author, first-prize fitness competitor, coach and the creator of the Fit for Joy philosophy. Born in Brazil, she began her professional career in the arts, both music and dance, before finding her way to fitness, writing and coaching. Visit the author’s website:

Additional information


Valeria Teles




Trim size

5.5" x 8.5"

Page Count



Autobiography (Women)
Body, Mind, & Spirit (Spiritualism)
Self-Help (Motivational)
Family & Relationships (General)
Health & Fitness (General)


eBook, Hardcover, Softcover

25 reviews for Fit for Joy

  1. Jeff Maziarek, author of Codi’s Journey

    Heartfelt memoir with valuable spiritual insights – Every single person has a story to tell, and these days there are scores of books available from authors who often share very personal experiences, with their primary intent to be of service in some way to readers of course. Fit for Joy is that type of book, as it’s clearly evident from the authenticity in the story telling that the author sincerely desires to help readers to more easily traverse their life challenges. I was particularly impressed with how open and genuine she was in sharing her very interesting life story, one of growing up in rural Brazil to moving on her own to a big city as just a teenager, and to eventually relocating to the United States and ultimately becoming a fitness champion.

    The story itself was appealing to me, but what impressed me the most was her blatant honesty about her life, the choices she made, and the lessons she learned in the process. There is a lot of personal information in this book, which essentially makes it a memoir at its core, but it’s also an insightful spiritual growth book. From my perspective, the overarching value in the work is the back story of how she evolved over time from being a fitness expert to becoming a truly authentic spiritual teacher, one who offers readers deep, valuable insights into life. Bottom line, I really liked this book and highly recommend it.

  2. Jean Logan

    A Great Blueprint for Your Life – This is an outstanding book. It is very motivational and will help get you off the couch and working on improving your life. I felt very inspired to make positive life changes when I read this book. She provides an excellent roadmap for a person to help them get started.

  3. Cliff Yates

    A must read – An amazing heart felt story. I connect with the author in so many ways. Although any struggles that I have endured would pale in comparison with what the author has. All the messages through her own story resonate with me. I’m sure they would with anyone who has the courage to be honest with themselves, in that we are all on this life’s journey. Changing the meaning that we give to events, circumstances, and creating our own positive inner self talk are such valuable lessons that can take our joy of life to new levels. I could not put this book down. It’s a true story, that could change your life, maybe forever.

  4. Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

    Body and soul – Teles writes a very well put together book about healing powers of the mind and soul that can affect the body. The author shares experiences and in the beginning, she sets the tone for believing in oneself, and healing to make ourselves better. She writes “Unfortunately, most of us believe negative emotions are normal. Selfishness can give the illusion of success as we achieve materialistic accomplishments while being unkind to ourselves and everyone around us. In reality, behind selfishness lies insecurity, anger, and fear—especially of not having enough or feeling like we are not enough as individuals.” This text in the beginning kept me reading to find out more. She writes this book in first person, as she is talking about her experiences and beliefs, directly to the reader.

  5. Dr. Yoni

    Changing…if you let it – This book is about healing and health in a holistic pursuit: treating both body and mind. The book is broken into three main categories with a two-part conclusion and aims to inspire readers via a reflective journal approach from the author’s perspective of their own life. Each short reflection and small anecdote connect to the larger tapestry of what Valeria coins “the healing power of being you.” It’s an impressive work for the author given her traumatic past and is a testament to the power of what her book possesses.

    What you’ll find in this book is a voice to connect with. To laugh with. Cry with. Endure with. Whether or not this book impacts you is based on the condition of your heart when you read it. Whether or not this book changes you…even more so. But what about teaching you? This book is about fitness, but it is about joy ever the more so. It is about finding the fit by embracing and growing the joy. So, if you are looking for a book to radically change your health, this book can be it…if you let it.

  6. Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

    A Story from the Mind, Body & Soul – In “Fit for Joy”, Valeria Teles has brought together a poignant, powerful, and personal journey of lessons learned from a long road of abuse to forgiveness; pain to healing; and depression to joy—all wrapped up in a potent package that unfolds one story at a time. The most powerful story is always our own, and Teles has definitely shown that to be true. Her insights and perspectives are transparent and authentic, and her journey will inspire your own. If you are ready for physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation, then “Fit for Joy” is the book for you.

  7. Miller

    Memoir Gives A Compelling Road Map – This memoir is Valeria Teles’ first book and one she felt compelled to write.. In an interesting and well-written way she uses her own life’s ups and downs to give the reader a road map for life’s journey. Her life becomes the examples to explain her thoughts on life, love, and happiness . . . She talks about mind , body and spirit….exercise as an addiction . . . and the need to live in the present(mindfulness) and avoid obsessing about the past which you can’t change and the future which you can’t control . . . all based on courage, self esteem , forgiveness and avoiding the negative. If you are still searching for your purpose and a positive direction, this is a book for you.

  8. Wendy Landers

    What would you do if you were still alive? – The headline is a quote from the third part of the book. I don’t want to give away more than that. I was not familiar with World Beauty Fitness and Fashion before reading Valeria Teles’ memoir. Women who want to be professional swimsuit models should read this book. Readers who are not already familiar with Valeria Teles’ work may want to jump around in the book while reading. Once you know where the narrative is headed, you understand why someone would be interested in her childhood history. I have heard women in bookclubs (meeting in libraries in the U.S.) talk about making a point of reading authors from non-mainstream U.S. culture–they should read this book. It’s a first-person account of someone who grew up outside of the U.S. When you’re used to looking good all the time, sometimes it can be hard to share the pain along the way. I’d like to thank Valeria Teles for writing this book.

  9. D. Stevenson

    Joy From the Heart – Valeria Teles is a brave, determined woman. Her painful past has motivated her to pursue health and wellness from a physical, emotional and spiritual perspective. In her book, “Fit for Joy,” Valeria shares her life journey from a dysfunctional childhood home in Brazil, though troubled relationships with men, following careers in music and fitness, seeking healing and purpose. Her current project is an online resource, podcast and newsletter on trauma recovery and healing also called “Fit for Joy.”

  10. Shelly Wilson, Intuitive Medium and Author of 28 Days to a New YOU

    Journey to Joy – Valeria Teles authentically shares her personal and professional experiences in Fit for Joy: The Healing Power of Being You. Both vulnerable and courageous, Valeria reveals her own journey to joy in this fascinating book that reminds us that we are indeed a spiritual being having a human life experience and that our physical health, mental/emotional well-being and spiritual practice equally matter. Through a practice of awareness and self-love, she consciously chooses to connect to the power of her heart as she embraces the joy within rather than seeking external sources to attain the joy. As an Intuitive Medium and Conscious Creator, this book is in alignment with my own heart-centered practice and teachings. It’s time for all of us to step into our power fully, embody a practice of well-being and love ourselves fully.

  11. Michael Lydon

    A Wonderful Book from a Wise Soul – I had the good fortune of meeting Valeria back when I lived in Astoria, Queens. She had a meetup group at that time called “Fitness and Philosophy,” which involved doing cross-training style exercise in the park, then having some healthy snacks and discussing Stoic philosophy. It was always a breath of fresh air to be around a person who thought so deeply and also so clearly about what it meant to live well, and who was using her own life as a laboratory to experiment with what worked and what didn’t.

    As a therapist who specializes in helping people release psychological trauma, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to heal their own childhood wounds and discover deeper meaning and purpose, and to discover what Valeria refers to as the “spiritual heart.”

    Some gems that really stood out (and that I wish I had known in my 20s!):

    “Because we are mostly aware of our physical and negative psychological realities, our minds dwell on countless desires to compensate for the confusion of not knowing the source of our suffering.”

    “…by forcing myself to be good, I was actually causing further pain to others and myself.”

    “…although a fit body can improve our health, earn compliments that boost our self-esteem, and give us a temporary “high” of accomplishment, without a content mind and joyful heart, our happiness won’t last long. Our health and feel-good states depend on external conditions and constant hard work, which can propel us into an endless, destructive cycle.”

  12. Anonymous

    There is more to real fitness than six-pack abs – I approached Fit for Joy with some skepticism. Yes, I think it’s important to stay physically fit but I’m not a gym bunny and I get plenty of exercise helping my wife with her garden center. But I could use a bit more joy in my life so I thought I would at least skim a few pages of the sample.

    Six hours later I had finished reading Fit for Joy and found myself sitting there deep in thought about the cause of my present discontent. Two of the several messages in Fit for Joy spoke to me in particular.

    The past is only a story we tell ourselves – Like many (most?) people, I could tell negative stories about my past all day. All the slings and arrows I suffered growing up; all the damage I did to others as an adult. How liberating to realize that rather than live in the dark shadows those stories cast I can use them to illuminate my present path and avoid further harm to myself and others. We can put those stories to good use.

    To believe we are unchangeable is what gives continuity to our suffering – This is a difficult truth to accept. Evolution has wired us to resist change and change is hard work no matter what your motivation. People around us either want to change us in ways that suit them or not change at all. Change can also be illusory. Just as Teles used ‘fitness’ to avoid her truth, we can use ‘change’ as a cover for not changing at all. Change jobs, change cities, change lovers, all the while repeating the same patterns. I have been a master at that game.

    Sometimes you fall into conversation with a complete stranger who says something that totally shifts your perception. Books can do that too. Fit for Joy chronicles Tele’s journey from a hard-scrabble childhood in a backwater town in Brazil to a penthouse in Manhattan to depression and despair and her eventual renewal. She speaks with a raw honesty that is rare in this genre. Fit for Joy shifted my perception of what it means to be ‘fit’, not just physically but mentally and spiritually. If that sounds like something you are looking for, don’t miss Fit for Joy.

  13. Elisa Robyn

    A brilliant shift – Are you one of those people who work-out until it hurts, believing the myth of “no pain no gain”? If so, you need to read this book. Valeria chronicles her life from childhood on, telling the honest story of her emotional and physical pain. At times the narrative is difficult read, but I found that I had to keep reading. The story drew me in and I could not put the book down.

    Valeria’s story continues as she embraces exercise as a way to deal with her emotional pain, only to find that the pain does not disappear. In fact, rather than finding joy she feels empty. I found myself in these pages. Working out is a powerful drug that I hoped would dull my own pain, but only created physical pain.

    This book arrived at the perfect time. I felt like Valeria was speaking directly to me, telling me the joy starts in the heart. We must find our peace and happiness insider ourselves if we hope to find it in the world around us.

    Valeria’s story it powerful and personal. You will find deep meaning in these pages and be encouraged to transform your life.

  14. Lindsay Wincherauk

    An inspirationally joyful journey toward the importance of love + kindness in the moment! Although, each of our journeys through life, are uniquely our own + the paths travelled may seem light years apart, “Fit for Joy” speaks volumes about how we are all connected, and how our stories provide a way for each of us to grow.

    It takes a tremendous amount of courage to share a life story, warts, insecurities, fears, and all—Valeria gave the world a gift by sharing hers. Valeria’s life-dots cobbled together; a childhood infested with struggles. The need to escape. A burning desire for validation from both friends and love interests. And, finally, falling into the addiction often coming from within the shallowness of fitness. Bond us all. The only goal of fitness needs to be well-being, physically and emotionally, most importantly: emotionally. Valeria eloquently expounds another vital importance: after diving deeply into her core and extracting what lies profoundly inside her soul—our essence and responsibility to each other = love + kindness.

    “What would you do if you were still alive?”

    Whether you grew up on the flatlands of Saskatchewan, or in a rural town in Brazil; whether you come from wealth or poverty, it doesn’t matter. “Fit for Joy” will have you question the steps of your journey. It will compel you to look at your past in a different light, while at the same time questioning the value of the future if you forget to live in the now!

    The beauty within each of us is waiting to be discovered and shared. Thank you, Valeria, for sharing your journey, I know you knew, you had no choice, it was an imperative part of you—and, I am certain everyone who reads your words, will grow!

  15. Jonathan Hilton

    The Joy is real – Fit for Joy is the story of Valeria Teles and her journey to self discovery. It is the captivating tale of growing up in Brazil and how her life led her through many different stages or marriage, art, dancing, singing, and ultimately to fitness. Even at her zenith of health, there were problems, feelings of depression based on issues from her past. Teles tells openly and honestly about the feelings of inadequacy which resulted from unresolved traumatic experiences from her youth. This book is a positive road map of self discovery and provides the positive message of self acceptance. It is what is on the inside that counts. I think there are lessons to take from this book, the most important that love is something we should strive to instill in our lives every day. I highly recommend this book to all who are seeking a pathway to more joy in their lives. “A happy heart can create a happy reality around us.”

  16. Pamela D. Smith

    Inspirational – I really enjoyed this book. It was empowering and motivational. The timing of me reading it was divine in that I recently started a weight loss journey. My key takeaway is that my heart has to be filled with joy and I can’t use weight loss as an escape from dealing with issues that need to be dealt with.

  17. BookAddict

    Be true to yourself—find and follow your joy in this inspiring book – As a holistic therapist, and counselor, I’m passionate about the healing power of joy so it was a delight to read this book. Fit for Joy is part memoir, part self-empowerment—but mostly it’s a call to action to embrace your true authentic self. Throw off the strain of trying to be someone else, abandon the effort to fit in, rid yourself of the shackles of holding onto hurts, wounds, and grudges. Valeria Teles has walked this path and in this book, she’ll guide you to your best version of you…and you’ll find it by turning wounds in wisdom, pain into passion, and life’s journey into joy.

    I loved reading how the author, once a young girl living in a small town in Brazil, overcame her sadness, her despair, her drama-filled life, and toxic relationships and liberated herself. In Fit for Joy, she shares how she blossomed into a successful woman who has mastered new languages, new skills, and traveled the world—and had devoted herself to helping others live and work with freedom, joy, peace, and courage.

    Fit for joy? Be true to yourself!

  18. Steven Lane Taylor

    Making Your Mind as Fit as Your Body – It’s not easy to transform your body through rigorous exercise and a strict diet, but try transforming your mind by aligning it with your heart. That’s even harder! However, that’s exactly what this author accomplished. Although I assumed this book would be an instructional “how-to” book, much of it is autobiographical—a memoir that is painful to read at first, but later inspiring. Whether you relate to Valeria’s story or not, her book will certainly help you recognize that peace and happiness do not come from continually trying to please other people and be who they think you should be. It comes from following your own heart and being true to who you already are at heart—a innately loving and joyful spiritual being!

  19. Grady Harp

    Listen to the heart – This very fine book is about fitness – but about blending physical fitness with spiritual and emotional fitness. Valeria writes ‘After more than twenty years of participating in the fitness lifestyle, I realized a truth my heart had already mastered: a fit and health body comes second to a serene and loving mind. I wrote this book to explore the following questions: How can we integrate conventional fitness and spirituality? How do we exercise a healthy and joyful heart, despite a painful past? What does it mean to be truly healthy? In FIT FOR JOY I share how my relationship with the body, exercise, and food changed following a period of major depression. I had lost interest in life amidst the most successful moments of my career, despite being in the best shape I had ever been in.’

    Utilizing the concept of bringing her Fit for Joy mindset to our attention by means of a memoir she adds, “Writing a memoir can be about capturing unforgettable memories, sharing a life-changing experience, revealing a secret, or rediscovering oneself. By having your experiences on paper, your book might have a positive impact on someone else’s life.”

    So here is a book about one woman’s journey that is so rich in impact that it makes us stop and question our lives and turn and find joy. Yes, the book is about workouts and health issues with foods (routines for the week, meals, raining programs for competitors, etc.), but the power of the book is learning to know the approach that binds physical fitness with emotional fulfillment. Recommended.

  20. DejaLiyah

    I couldn’t put it down. Valeria’s story immediately grabbed me. Very inspiring and motivating, helped me realize some things about my own health and body image. I was rooting for her through out the whole book after hearing her childhood story and the struggles she went through. What a brave woman. Thank you for sharing your story with us Valeria!

  21. AnthonyB

    very inspirational – So far the book is very inspirational and amazing. I can learn a lot to help with my weight loss journey.

  22. Stephanie

    This roadmap will impact and inspire long after you finish the book. Once in a while, the stars in the universe align and special people are put in your path. Anyone who is blessed to know Valeria personally knows she approaches EVERYTHING with a kind, embracing, factual, frank and empowering approach second to none. However, if you have not been lucky enough to know her personally this book provides her insights and approach to health. She’ll take you down the road of her heartbreaking upbringing, the road to resiliency, and overcoming many common difficulties we all face. Valeria faced MANY adversities and has come out stronger both physically and mentally. Through this book, her story and roadmap will impact and inspire long after you turn the last page.

  23. Terris Muhammad

    Joy Is Trusting In The Heart – Valeria Teles tells a riveting story of her personal life from a troubled child to a joyful woman living life on her terms following the guidance within her heart. In her story is a way to find true happiness and joy in life that is within everyone’s heart. She shows how to follow the heart through life’s bad times and good times to the destiny that all seek in our many journeys.

  24. April Jaffe

    Very engaging and powerful to read such a personal and empowering story! I really enjoyed how this book. It was more of a biography than about fitness. I felt totally connected to the heroine. Valeria brings up some very important points about how hiding behind any excessive behavior even exercise is damaging. She is a true inspiration and you must read this book!

  25. Anonymous

    A GREAT INSPIRING BOOK, HEALING THRU COURAGE & FORGIVENESS. This book is one of the most inspiring stories. If you would like to see how we can overcome any adversities in this life then you should buy this book. A great teacher, inspiring human being. I suggest you read the book & hold on as you turn each page. GREAT STORY, AMAZING COURAGE!!! LOVE IT!!!!

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