About - Start With Yourself


Welcome to Our Community!

We are passionate about the work we do in the world. We truly care about empowering individuals in living the life they desire. Everyday we rise knowing that with each person we reach, the world is a better place. But we can only do this because everyday we really embrace the Start With Yourself concept.



Dr. Michelle Bean is the Co-Founder of the Santa Cruz Challenge. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from life West Chiropractic College and also received her black belt in mixed martial arts.

Since moving to Santa Cruz in October, 2010 Dr. Bean has positioned herself within the community as a leader in health and fitness as she has personally collaborated with over 200 health professionals, experts, and physicians, as well as over 50 fitness studios, their owners, trainers, and clients in Santa Cruz County. She has enrolled over 400 local residents in the program, as well as in the ongoing outdoor fitness group classes that she is currently leading. Dr. Bean brings her caring demeanor to her clients so all feel welcome and cared for.

Dr. Michelle Bean

As Co-Founder, Dr. Michelle Bean has put together the fitness aspect of the program. Her ability to educate, enroll and manage 40+ fitness studio owners, scheduling and all the other aspects of this program shows her versatility and skill set.

Master Skill Set
Analytic intelligence
Willingness to ask for help
Decision making
Ability to simplify
Creative Questioning approach
Communications skills
People empathy
Potential problem identification
Willingness to take the lead


Founder of Optimal Health and Fitness and Co-Founder of the Santa Cruz Challenge, Chinese Doctor LeTa is a Certified Personal Trainer by the International Academy of Sports Sciences, Certified Outdoor Action Fitness Instructor, a California Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist, A Board Member of Inner Light Center, a First Line Therapy Provider and runs a successful Medical Weight Loss Programs. She acquired her Undergraduate Degree from Syracuse University in Environmental Public Policy and her Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches Institute. She is currently finishing her Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Five Branches University in San Jose, CA. LeTa loves to educate, empower, inspire share her passion and gifts to the world.

LeTa B. Jussila, L.Ac

LeTa is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist and Chinese Medicine’s main premise is to treat the root. In taking this to heart, the whole premise of Start With Yourself is to ask yourself: what is one area of my life that needs attention? And if I did, every other area of my life would change. We are holistic beings. Everything is interconnected. LeTa has a way to weave through the stories of your life to match symptoms showing up through understanding of the Five Elements.

Some of her skills:
Market and customer knowledge
Some familiarity with technology
Articulates and champions a vision
Identifies, grows, and deploys core competencies
Establishes strategy
Focuses on profitability
Builds a team
Defines clear cut objectives
Delivers objectives
Removes obstacles for the team
Establishes and enforces a culture
Asks the right questions
Focuses on both short and long term
Early problem identification
Ability to solve a problem
Encourages continuous learning at all levels



  • Narrow in on the one thing in your life, that if you focused on, would have the biggest impact in every area of your life.
  • Nothing is in the particular. The way you do anything is the way you do everything. Same with your way of being.
  • If you were going to invest in your future best self now, where would you put your time and energy today?
  • Start with yourself spreads to your family, friends and into your local community.