My journey has been a long one! I've been passionate about nutrition and fitness for most of my life. Although, I haven't always "had it all together." As a child, I was average, maybe a little larger than average(in my opinion.) I grew to my full adult height 5'7" by the 6th grade, so that was the biggest reason I always felt "bigger." I was so much taller than my friends! As a teenager, I struggled to find comfort in my body. My friends were shorter, and thinner, and I just wanted to blend in. That's where my weight issues began. I remember in junior high starting to "diet" and striving to be thin. I was probably around 140 pounds, which is not overweight for my height. My friends barely weighed 110, so in my mind, I needed to lose weight! Of course at that age, I had no idea what I was doing as far as "dieting" goes and would basically just eat less than usual. Or, eat salads and crackers. That was my go-to diet menu. I would lose a few pounds, but never stuck with it. In this era, the "diet" industry really focused on restriction, and not health. I was active all through school and my weight remained stable, even though I still thought I was fat. I graduated, got married and had my first baby within a year! My first pregnancy was typical. Some morning sickness, average weight gain and rebounded fairly quickly. A few years later, we became pregnant with our second child, and that's when things really changed. She was diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia and less than 10% chance of surviving. I gained ALOT of weight during that pregnancy. I did not rebound well after either. It was such a stressful and emotional time. I didn't even have time to think about exercise or healthy eating. Nor did I care. I just wanted my family to be healthy and the stress to go away. It was during that time that I became closer to God and starting seeing things very differently. They say these things happen for a reason, and I can see now why certain things do happen. Although I had always believed in God and attended church, it was during this time that I really developed a real relationship with the Lord. Our daughter had a long battle, but she was a fighter! Three months in the NICU and a couple surgeries later, we brought her home. Such a blessing! It took me a while to balance motherhood with a toddler and new baby, especially one that was so fragile. But, over time, I did lose some weight. And about the time I had finally lost it, we were pregnant with baby #3! This pregnancy was different. I was very sick and actually lost 15 pounds the first trimester. It eventually got better. And I had learned my lesson from the last pregnancy! Do not eat for two! I'm only one person! I gained weight, but nothing like the last time! During this time, we had a new challenge brewing in our home. Our son, the oldest, was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome. This is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary vocal sounds and movements known as tics. My poor little guy was miserable and so confused as to why his body was doing such odd things. We took him to several doctors and specialists. Unfortunately they did not have any good remedies. There were medications available, but the side affects were terrifying. There was no way I would put my child on these drugs! So, I began searching for alternatives. I found so many interesting stories about families that were treating their children with natural foods and supplements, I knew I had to try! I bought a book that was recommended by another mother and followed it step by step. Within two weeks, I had a completely different child! I was hooked! I also realized during this time I had no idea what I was doing! I didn't know what "clean" foods were or why it was bad to eat processed foods. So, I began taking classes in nutrition, and over time became certified as a nutrition counselor. I felt strongly that this new lifestyle would be a family thing..not just something my son had to follow. We all did it! And over the course of a few years, I lost 75 pounds! My entire family was benefitting from it and feeling better than ever! I feel this was another one of God's blessings in disguise. I know He intended for me to gain this knowledge to share with others! I KNOW this is one of my God given gifts. I really feel if you're passionate about something, search it out! God puts those passions in you for a reason! Over the years I have attained several certifications in nutrition, fitness, health, counseling, wellness,public speaking, life coaching and I'm also a licensed cosmetologist. I use my gifts to help others feel and look their very best. God instructs us to take care of our temple! And I know He intended for me to help others do just that! My focus is always balancing BODY-MIND-SPIRIT. You cannot be whole if one is missing. And you cannot balance your body or mind if your filling it with toxic foods or thoughts. There are so many gimmicks on the market that promise to do this for you, and it's scary to see how many people believe those scams! You cannot trick your body into functioning. You have to treat it as God intended. So many people are looking for that "quick fix". And you know what? It doesn't exist! You cannot achieve a healthy, fit body without a clean diet, exercise, hydration and a healthy mind. Never let anyone convince you otherwise! Your body is your home here on this earth. If you don't take the best care of it, who will? It really bothers me to see people take their health and bodies for granted. Most people don't realize how fortunate they are to be healthy until they lose their health. My grandfather was(is) one of my biggest motivators! He suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. He was in a wheel chair most of his adult life. But this amazing man never complained! He was so sweet and so loving! He loved to be outdoors and I know how badly he would have loved to be able to do more. He passed away when he was 72. Right around the time my son was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and my new health journey began. I promised myself and God that I would never take my health and physical abilities for granted ever again. My grandpa didn't have a choice in most things he wasn't able to do. But I do! Since then, not only did I change my eating habits and lose weight, but I've completed several physical challenges. Running events, biking events, charity walks/runs, fitness competitions and now training for my first triathlon! I encourage you to do something, anything! You don't have to "compete." You can do most activities just for fun! But, please, don't sit and watch your life go by wishing you did something. You can! There is nothing you cannot do! I will continue as long as I live to promote health, fitness, faith and wellbeing. It is who I am, who God made me to be. I will do His will!
I am always open to answering questions or helping others. Contact me anytime! No charge! And remember, you are not alone. It can be hard to start, but it is well worth it!
Here are my before and after pictures! I'm on the far right in the bottom pic!
75 pounds lost!