Health & Wellness — Some Things Are Priceless

2016 was an exceptionally huge year for me on a personal level. In 2010 I started a journey at over 300lbs to become Healthy and Well. Last year, after losing 130lbs of body fat I decided to participate in a body building bikini competition. I was well aware going into the event that my body composition wasn’t at the level of the other competitors, but that wasn’t the point for me. This was a goal I had set for myself, an experience I wanted to have and something I wanted to accomplish. Honestly, I had come so far in my journey that I already felt like a winner long before I walked across that stage.

Which brings me to the time leading up to the competition……

I spent months with my amazing coaches from The Fit Life 24/7 preparing for the show which included 6 days a week of training at the gym and countless hours spent on meal preparations. I was so proud, I had committed 100% to the process, my dedication was unwavering and I knew on show day I would present the very best package I was capable of putting together and that I would have no regrets. The closer it got to November 12th though the more nervous I became! Not because I was going to put myself out there, in a bikini, on stage, in front of a theatre full of spectators and a panel of judges. Nope, none of that rattled my nerves…… it was the shoes!! Walking in those heels, posing in those heels and being graceful in those heels!

I knew I needed to practice, practice, practice walking and posing. I also needed some feedback and constructive criticism but outside of work and training and being a mom there wasn’t much time left. I had been sharing my journey to stage with my co-workers and one day someone suggested I wear the shoes while at work to help get comfortable in them. Others offered to watch me practice my posing and help me by offering some feedback so I could work on areas where I needed improvement so I could feel nothing but confident on show day.

I’m not going to lie, I remember looking back at some overly concerned faces those first couple of days. But over time and with helpful advice and tips from everyone I became comfortable and confident and when it was finally time to step on stage I only had the tiniest bit of nerves left.

Overall, it was an incredibly amazing experience and I grew so much going through the whole process. Not just physically but mentally as well. Along the way I was lucky enough to have an amazingly supportive group of family and friends and I was beyond fortunate to have an equally supportive employer and group of co-workers who also wanted nothing more than to see me succeed.

On the outside I get paid to work here, Benefits By Design is my employer and these people are my co-workers. But it has become so much more than that. BBD has become one of my biggest supporters and these people have become cherished friends.

And similar to my views on Health and Wellness, you just can’t put a dollar value on that.

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