My Journey

I think that to get to know someone, you must learn about their journey, how they got to where they are and what motivated them…their story. Because of this, I want to share mine. I want to share that I’ve been where you might be, and I get it. I really really do.

I grew up as an athlete. Dance, basketball and softball were driving factors in my life. I took them seriously and my life revolved around them. Then, freshmen year of high school, I had a devastating leg injury, a compound fracture of my tibia/fibula that left me wheelchair bound for 6 months and on crutches for another 6. 1 year and 5 surgeries later, I started to rebuild. But, that year away messed with my athletic skills and left me on the sidelines, the rehab process was long and painful.

In high school I continued eating how I had when I was playing sports, then in college it multiplied. (During this time, I started dating my husband, John. You know how that goes…I ate to keep up with him…not the best plan ever!). We made it through college and the weight came on. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun, I enjoyed life, but, I was also hurting myself with my decisions. Below are a few photos from that time.

Wedding

On our wedding day, one of the best days of my life!

Before 1

Within 6 months of our wedding, I hit the 220 pound mark.

Before 2

Before 4

I want to be sure I am clear on this part. I still had value, I was important and I was loved. Like I mentioned above, some of the best moments of my life happened when I was not living healthily. But, I was also holding myself back. You see, when I was at that place, I felt insecure in what I had to offer (even though there was a lot!). I let negativity override my thoughts and I lost track of what was important to me. I hid from pictures, I knew how to angle myself to minimize my own discomfort. I avoided doctor visits because I didn’t want a weight lecture…I hid myself from the world, and put on a happy face…but inside, I was crumbling.

Fast forward a little bit. In 2010, I got pregnant with my first child, Colin. He was born in December and the pregnancy wasn’t easy. I actually finished the pregnancy 4 pounds lighter than I started it. After having him, I committed to exercise and started running with my husband.I got myself down to 188 lbs, but didn’t change my eating habits. 10 months after Colin was born, I was pregnant again with number 2. The day I found out, I was back up to 200 lbs. My food choices didn’t reflect my life goals.

In June of 2012, Lucas was born. This pregnancy was more difficult than Colin’s, and I lost 35 lbs by the midway point. I gained a little and finished the pregnancy at 178, the lightest I had been since high school. But, I still wasn’t living up to what I could be. I wanted fitness to be a focus as well as eating right. I signed up to run a half marathon in October of that year. I started running with my husband once getting the clear from the doctor and hired a personal trainer, Sam, who became a lifesaver. Here are a few photos of that time.

During 1

My first 5k. I finished in 40 minutes flat and couldn’t have been prouder. This is John crossing the finish with me.

During 2

Enjoying family time!

During 3

I finished my first half marathon (The Hershey Half) after intense training in 2 hours, 14 minutes.

Since then, I’ve taken a lot of turns! I’ve continued the training and started training in a power lifting regimen. I’ve also struggled a lot. Eating and moderating it became an obsession for which I needed outside help. I obsessed over numbers and was terrified for the scale to go up; I realized quickly that being at a healthy weight does not mean you’re living a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve learned to break away from the unhealthy habits, to focus on my family and on living life the way it should be. I’ve also learned that the scale is just a number, fitness is more than that.

Here’s where I am today:

After 1

Mother’s Day with one of my favorite little men.

After 2

My second half. I won my age group and finished in 1:50.

After 3

My first tough mudder, with two of the best sisters and supporters a girl could ask for.

After 4

Enjoying life is what it’s all about.

A few things I want to close with: I want to be sure I drive home the fact that happiness should not be equated with the number on the scale. Every single person is here for a reason and their importance should be celebrated and recognized. But, fitness should be acknowledged. Eating right and getting the right amount of activity lead to less stress and overall health; these ARE important.

Regardless of where you are on your journey, I want to take the time to encourage you. There’s an awesome future ahead of you, and it might take some work, but even taking the time to read this shows that you’re motivated. Find your passion and set ACHIEVABLE goals. You’ve got so much to offer and so many experiences to share…so follow along with me and take the time to share your own journey.

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