I have been overweight since junior high. I can remember buying size 14 jeans in middle school, and hiding the tags from my friends. I was always self-conscious about my weight, and tried to hide it my slouching over, or wearing baggy clothes. I was always the “big girl”. I just thought it was who I was and there was nothing I could do to change it. I was tall and “big boned” so I learned to accept it. I never let it hold me back from playing sports, traveling or being active, but I always dreamed of being able to do more.
In 2011 my mom was diagnosed with ALS, and it crushed me. I went through a period of time where I could not eat, or get out of bed. I was a mess, and lost about 45lbs in 2 months from not eating. I was weak, sick and always dizzy; I could not participate in the things I once enjoyed. ALS is a terrible disease which took away my mom’s ability to move her body, and even speak. Watching her slowly lose her ability to walk and move her hands made me realize that I needed to be strong, I needed to live my life to the fullest — not only so I could care for my mom but also so that once she is gone, I could live for her!! It was my wake up call to get healthy!!
n 2012 I started running. I ran my first and second 1/2 marathon that year, and my life and purpose came back to me. Running became an outlet for me, a way to relieve stress and a way to recharge in order to care for my mom. Races were the ultimate “feel good” moment, crossing the finish line made me feel so amazing — I need to feel my own sense of accomplishment and be happy about something! In 2014 I made it my goal to run 14 1/2 marathons — an ultimate test for myself, and the way I chased that finish-lin high. I proudly completed my goal, but at 240lbs, I was not losing weight, and that finish-lin-high wasn’t doing anything for me. I was not feeling good. I ate anything and everything I wanted, because I thought I deserved it for running as hard as I was. I didn’t have a clue about nutrition, and I was rapidly gaining weight. I refused to buy a size 18, so I squeezed into 16s and even 14s. I was in denial. I was alone. I didn’t know what to do.
It was this same year, I came across TIU on Instagram, I was blown away by the transformations I saw, and I wanted to be part of that fit lifestyle and the TIU community of amazing women supporting each other. I didn’t have a lot of girlfriends — or any? — I went to work and went home most night to eat pizza or tacos, to take care of my mom or to watch tv. I was in a bad place and finding TIU to follow started to give me hope. I was intrigued, but I could not commit. I didn’t think I could do it, I was scared that I would fail, and I didn’t want to put the money into the nutrition plan just to fail. At this point, I wasn’t ready. I just quietly watched. I watched everyone complete the 2014 Bikini Series. I wasn’t ready. I was scared.
In May of 2015, I weighed 251lbs (was squeezing into size 18 clothes). I needed to do something, so I bought the TIU nutrition plan bundle in April. Once receiving it, I let it sit on my table for over 2 months, I couldn’t even open it, I was scared to start, scared to fail.
As a teacher, I have summers off and I decided that the summer of 2015 was going to be MY SUMMER!!! I started TIU during round 2 of the BIKINI SERIES and dedicated myself 100% to completing all the workouts of the series. I did not follow the nutrition plan, I needed to start with small goals. I can vividly remember my first workout “The Mermaid” — I smiled through the entire routine, it was hard, I was sweating but I was smiling!! I got hooked on the workouts, and followed the Bikini Series plan to a T, never missed a workout!!! I posted in the community and started communicating with other TIU girls! I felt amazing and strong and powerful and for the first time in a long time….happy! After the series, I decided to just do the series again on my own, and by September I had lost 50lbs! I was hooked on TIU!
I have completed every challenge since then, never missing a workout. My body has changed drastically, but what is even more important to me is that mentally and emotionally I am a completely different person! I am truly happy! I think people can see that in my smile — I am genuinely happy!
In July 2016, I found Noah Kingery and NutritionMTMG. I needed to focus on my nutrition, and needed someone to keep me 100% accountable. Noah changed my diet drastically, which I will discuss in a future post. Working with Noah as my nutritionist has transformed my body and mind. I have learned how to fuel my body for the hard workouts it endures, and how to refeed my body to optimize my energy. In October 2016, I started training with Noah, and the changes in my body and mind have been incredible!! I have enjoyed the process so much! I am grateful to Noah for everything he has taught me, and all of his continued support.
I still have rough days, we all do, I was a primary care-giver for my mom who. battled ALS for 7 years — she was the strongest woman I know,and a full-time job for me — my mom passed away in October 2016. Her passing has been quite a challenge for me. I have gone from squeezing in workouts at 4am in order to take care of my mom after work, to training for 2+ hours at night. I am finding a new normal while embracing my new lifestyle.
I have currently lost 90 pounds to date, and am looking forward to continuing to shape my body through weight training and proper nutrition. Fitness and nutrition have become such a huge part of my life, that I am looking to make a career change and I am pursuing my Personal Training Certificate, hoping to pass the test in May 2017.
While this journey hasn’t been easy or without challenges, I never make excuses, because I cannot give up on myself like I have in the past. I am so proud of my journey, so proud of who I am becoming and so happy to pass along my motivation to others.